As our 2013 Latin America conference enters its second day our Startup Rally entrants will be nervously wondering if they’ll be declared the winner. This seems as good a reason as any to look back at last year’s winner, Workana, to find out how its fared in the 12 months since its victory.
An inclusion in our 10 Latin American startups to look out for in 2013, Workana is an online marketplace for freelancers. It’s based in Argentina and focuses on the Latin American market, with its service mainly used in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. It’s available in Spanish, Portuguese and English.
Workana announced its expansion into Brazil at our conference last year, and it turned out to be a good move. Since the company began offering its service there in October 2012, the Brazilian market has grown to account for 45% of the company’s transaction volume.
Perhaps the biggest news in the past year in terms of Workana’s future expansion came in the form of a $500,000 investment round. Co-founder Guillermo Bracciaforte tells us that key conversations regarding the funding occurred at The Next Web Conference Latin America 2012 (“our lead investor confirmed their interest during the event,” he notes).
Since the win last August, the company tells us it has grown more than ten times in terms of projects posted on its platform. Just 90 projects were posted in August 2012 while more than 1,000 have been posted this month so far. The conversion rate (posted projects turning into jobs) has tripled since August too. It’s now passed the 100,000 user mark, with the majority of jobs being in the fields of IT and design.
For the future, Bracciaforte says that Workana will increase its focus in Brazil. “We are in a unique position in this country with no actual competitors and amazing growth. This is why we are currently hiring a local country manager, we already have a small local team but aiming to grow it in the next year. This also means launching unique features like more local payment options for our Brazilian users.”
Hopefully we’ll see many more success stories like this coming out of The Next Web Conference Latin America 2013. Assuming that you’re reading this while it’s still on, you can watch the livestream of the event to follow the action.