Fiverr expands global reach, sets up Dutch, Italian freelance services sites

Giving users the opportunity to interact in their native language will lead to increased adoption of platform in these markets, CEO Micha Kaufman says

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

An example of a profile page on Fiverr (Courtesy)
An example of a profile page on Fiverr (Courtesy)

Fiverr International Ltd., a key online player in connecting businesses with freelancers, said it was continuing its international expansion and launching its site in two new languages — Dutch and Italian.

The move follows the opening of similar sites in Germany, France and Spain, the company said in a statement.

Fiverr connects businesses with freelancers offering digital services, such as copyediting or website consulting. The company offers services in 300 categories in 160 countries, serving over 5.5 million businesses worldwide.

“Expanding our global footprint is a key growth strategy for Fiverr, and we believe there is huge potential in the Italian and Dutch markets,” said Micha Kaufman, founder and CEO of Fiverr.

“Though very different markets, we have already seen fantastic signals in both countries — for instance, from February to March of this year, visitors from Italy to the website went up 97%. By giving users the opportunity to interact in their native language, we’re increasing trust in our brand, which will ultimately lead to increased adoption of our platform in these markets.”

Fiverr’s co-founder and CEO Micha Kaufman. (Courtesy/Yuval Taog)

In a July 17 interview with Forbes Israel, Kaufman said the coronavirus has propelled the company’s platform, driving up demand for its services, with “massive growth” in the number of transactions carried out from both freelancers and businesses, as lockdowns forced people to stay home and businesses turned to online services.

Italy is built on a foundation of small and independent businesses that make up the backbone of the economy, the third largest in Europe after Germany and France. They account for 81% of the workforce.

Italians are “embracing independent work” and the number of freelancers in Italy keeps rising year over year, the statement said.

Right now there are 5.5 million freelancers in the country, who represent almost 16% of the Italian GDP. This provides solid opportunities for growth on both sides of Fiverr’s marketplace, the company said.

The Netherlands is also a country where Fiverr has been strong in the past, but sees further opportunity by creating a local language site. The number of self-employed people continues to grow, with a current approximate 1 million freelancers, who make up roughly 17% of the workforce.

In the Netherlands there is a trend that sees older people who are highly educated and highly skilled looking to become freelancers, the statement said. There are about 1.2 million small businesses in the country.

In addition to localizing the site for Italy and the Netherlands, Fiverr will be increasing marketing efforts in both countries, the statement said.

In March, Fiverr said freelancers on the platform have earned over $1 billion since the site’s launch 10 years ago.

The company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in June 2019. It trades under the ticker FVRR and has a market cap of some $3 billion.

It was founded in 2010 by Shai Wininger and Micha Kaufman.

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