Fiverr International has acquired Stoke Talent, a platform that helps organizations manage their use of freelance workers, for $95 million. Among other things, Stoke offers tools to onboard, pay and track budgets. Fiverr said the deal is meant to offer more value to larger businesses and integrate with existing corporate workflows.

Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman said the acquisition made sense by supporting the company’s move upmarket and its efforts to engage with “much larger” customers. In addition, Fiverr will be able to offer solutions and services to businesses that already have a stable of freelancers, and pair talent with large companies that want to use freelancers but don’t have any relationships in place. It also gives Fiverr access to the offline freelancing market “that is still orders of magnitude larger than online freelancing,” Kaufman said.

Stoke Talent’s mission is to simplify the use of freelance talent. The platform allows customers to build a custom directory for both online and offline contractors, track budget and milestones. It also provides solutions for tax, legal and classification compliance. The company said joining Fiverr will significantly expand its capabilities while accelerating and expanding and quickening its go-to-market strategy.

Based in Tel Aviv, Stoke Talent has about 30 employees.

“This is an amazing opportunity to continue doing what we love to do, but on a much larger and broader scale,” said Stoke Talent CEO Shahar Erez. Together, he said, the companies will be able to build an ecosystem where businesses can implement and manage a multi-channel strategy for both online and offline freelancers. “There are meaningful synergies between the two companies and we’re excited for what the future holds,” Erez said.

Stoke Talent will continue to operate independently, though the companies will work together to “unlock the synergy” between the two platforms.

LinkedIn’s Service Marketplace

Fiverr’s move comes just a week after LinkedIn announced its Service Marketplace, a new feature that matches freelancers with customers.

According to TechCrunch, LinkedIn quietly began testing Service Marketplace in February. Since then, the service has gained about 2 million users out of LinkedIn’s global total of 800 million. That’s not a huge slice, but still — It was pre-launch. Until now, LinkedIn offered freelancers a way to network, but there was no mechanism to put them together with customers.

Product Manager Matt Faustman told TechCrunch that the marketplace is rolling out with 250 job categories, which will soon expand to 500. “We are barely scratching the surface,” he said.

Image: Stoke Talent

By Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer is executive editor of RecruitingDaily and the HCM Technology Report. He’s written for TechTarget, HR Magazine, SHRM, Dice Insights, and TalentCulture, as well as Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Staffing Industry Analysts. He likes schnauzers, sailing and Kentucky-distilled beverages.


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