Online marketplaces designed to help firms hire new staff or pay for specific services are on the rise. Companies such as Taskrabbit, 99designs and oDesk have all attracted significant funding rounds and valuations in recent times. However Work.io, a startup based in New York, launched publicly last week and is hoping to carve out its own marketshare by taking the model in what it says is “a new direction”.
Work.io is an online marketplace that essentially matches ‘buyers’ directly with people who possess the skills, knowledge and experience that they’re looking for. The new platform is pretty robust in that it gives the transactions some structure and process, and also takes care of all the payment and billing issues. An all-in one solution, or thereabouts.
Bruno Haid, one of the co-founders, says that Work.io is particularly well-suited to the modern job market:
“Small businesses need ever more skills in their quiver, but some of them they might only need every two or three months. And larger organisations face the age old problem that you need to go through 26 middlemen to get what you’re actually looking for.
At the same time we have one of the best trained generations ever struggling to find a job, and if they do, only a certain percentage of their daily routines fits their interests and passions.”
The marketplace, which opened last week, caters for a range of simple needs including translations and lists of potential sales leads, as well as more complex tasks such as market analysis and patent research. All of which for the technology startup scene at least is incredibly important.
Work.io does, however, face fierce competition from existing marketplaces like oDesk, which has steadily expanded its platform to more specialized services and established players in the “expertise on demand” area.
Haid thinks Work.io has a distinct advantage in this part of the market though:
“The challenge with these approaches is that they are either time constrained, because they depend on both the buyers and the sellers availability at the same time, or they come with the known hassle of finding and procuring from the right people. We want to radically lower the barriers involved in those transactions.”
The Work.io team currently consists of eight people in New York, San Francisco and Europe, who also seem to have an interesting product roadmap around mobile and APIs. However, The Next Web wasn’t able to pry specifics out of them at this point.
Take a look at the video below to get an idea of how it all works in everyday use:
Image source: Victor 1558
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