Malt raises $97M at a $489M valuation for its freelance marketplace for developers – TechCrunch

The world of professional services has long relied on contractors to take on jobs and projects that are not part of the day-to-day business, but are nonetheless indispensable. Today, a startup that built a marketplace to make it easier for freelance developers, designers, and others with technical skills to facilitate these job openings, announced a major round of funding to expand its business.

Providing a way for developers, data scientists, designers, project managers, and others working in related fields to connect with temporary vacancies in their fields, Malt has raised € 80 million ($ 97 million at today’s courses) , Money the company plans to expand its business to additional markets.

Sources indicate that the investment – led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity and Eurazeo – is valued at € 400 million ($ 489 million) for Malt.

Vincent Huguet, CEO of Malt, who founded the company together with Hugo Lassiège and Jean-Baptiste Lemée, said in an interview that the funds will be used in part to expand the company across Europe in order to break into the longer term the USA In Europe, the company was founded in Paris and is currently represented in France (Paris, Lyon), Germany (Munich) and Spain (Madrid). It is planned to expand this to the Benelux countries next, then to the UK and Italy.

To date, the company has amassed 250,000 freelancers in its community, of which 30,000 companies use this pool to fill positions. End customers include Unilever, Lufthansa, Bosch, BlaBlaCar, L’Oréal and Allianz, and it also works with traditional consulting firms like McKinsey to help them find people for projects. In total, the company has generated around 300 million euros in sales since it was founded in 2013.

Those numbers, it seems, are just the tip of the iceberg. It is estimated that there are around 6 million people working as freelancers in Europe today, and Malt estimates that the freelance consultancy market in the region is worth around 350 billion euros annually.

Although recruiting has been largely digitized for many parts of the economy over the past two decades, Malt is tackling a part of the temporary employment industry that, ironically, has a strong offline presence.

“The most important thing is that we’re a very open marketplace, an Airbnb-style search marketplace,” he said. “Everything is really based on our search engine. In a very opaque market where offline and online players [those connecting technical workers with jobs] To protect their bases, we opened the information. ”It also provides payment services and advanced solutions to some of its customers once people are engaged, he added.

“Freelancer” is a pretty charged term in today’s tech world – it could mean anything from a gig worker delivering food, driving you around or cleaning a house, to the multitude of people working on fixed-term contracts, and sometimes the effects aren’t great. Critics will say that companies rely on the freelancer model to provide extensive benefits to those who do the jobs.

Malt works in a slightly different field, focusing on a long-standing niche in the market and finding people with specific, valued technical skills that can be filled for project-related work, but which have often been hard to find crack for employers, Huguet said.

“We track those who charge a few hundred dollars a day and connect them to medium and large companies,” said Huguet, who described Malt as very different from Fiverr, which also enables people to find skilled labor, but focused focus on finding the lowest bidder for a job. “You are looking for a specific freelancer as an employer. You don’t post a specific task so freelancers can respond. ”The average duration of engagement is around three weeks, but it can last up to three months, he said.

What was interesting – and definitely had an impact on Malt’s growth and investments announced today – is how much the world of work has changed over the past year and a half. COVID-19 has not only changed the way people work in offices – if they still work in offices at all – but the rapidly changing circumstances have also played something into the idea of ​​a work strategy with more specific short- and medium-term goals to develop. with longer term condition. This fits in with the type of jobs Malt usually helps meet the requirements for, and the changes have also resulted in more workers coming into Malt’s universe looking for work.

“What we can already see and predict in the next few quarters is that we will be a winner after COVID,” said Huguet. “People are now considering different options. The idea of ​​a full-time employee was that when everyone was in the office, people knew how to work from 9 am to 6 pm, and that was expected. Now that people are working on projects, employers are more open to consultants. This and the larger hiring freezes helped us grow much faster. The market and the mindset have changed. “

Likewise, people who may have been looking for full-time employment first now feel safer to put their eggs in the basket of freelancers. “More than 90% of freelancers come to us voluntarily,” he added.

It will be interesting to see how and if companies like LinkedIn, which has been a strong player in professional recruiting, make further progress in this area due to the launch of a freelance marketplace earlier this year.

“We’re watching what it does, but we think it will be difficult for them,” said Huguet. He pointed out that LinkedIn’s profiles are now dedicated to classic recruiting, so matching is very different for freelancers.

Regardless of how the interest on LinkedIn plays out, its activities there also point to a great opportunity, a big reason why investors are supporting Malt right now.

“Malt is in a crucial phase of its development. This new round of funding will allow the company to scale quickly and make an even bigger impact, ”said Yann du Rusquec, partner at Eurazeo. “We are excited to work with Vincent and Alexandre – offering the expertise of our growth and venture teams along with the depth of the Eurazeo network in Europe – to drive Malt’s future success.”

“We are excited to help Malt build the leading freelance marketplace in Europe,” added Alexandre Flavier, Executive Director at Goldman Sachs Growth Equity. “Malt is at the forefront of the future of work, promotes agility, innovation, impact, freedom of choice and makes freelance work easier and more reliable. We are excited to partner with the founders of Malt, strengthening their community of highly skilled freelancers, and giving companies access to the world’s best freelance talent. “

August 10, 2021