The crunch has helped give rise to talent-as-a-service platforms that help companies with staffing while making it easier for employees to go independent.
CEO Stephanie Nadi Olson of We Are Rosie, a freelancer platform that just got backing from PE firm Align Capital Partners, said membership and revenue have each doubled in size since the start of the pandemic.
Freelance network Gather, whose clients include IBM, Citibank, and The Economist and which sees big consulting and advertising names like Deloitte, Havas, and Ogilvy as its main competitors, has also seen significant growth during the pandemic, said Head of Innovation David Gaspar.
Burnout and agency work known for its long hours have fueled the rise of freelancing. We Are Rosie surveyed more than 400 marketers and found that 63% planned to change jobs in 2021.
“You work constantly, and you sacrifice your life and your sanity. But talent doesn’t have to do that anymore,” said Working Not Working CEO and former agency art director Justin Gignac.
Here are 10 recruiting platforms, listed alphabetically, whose rapid growth has attracted millions from investors like Mark Cuban, Salesforce, and Endeavor and made some acquisition targets.
We Are Rosie
What it does: Connects freelance marketing talent with clients including the five biggest agency holding companies as well as brands like Facebook and Diageo.
Investment: Received an undisclosed growth investment from PE firm Align Capital Partners valuing the company at $110 million.
After leaving an ad sales career in 2018, Stephanie Nadi Olson founded We Are Rosie as a platform for freelance talent to network and find marketing gigs with agencies and brands.
She said the company brought in $5 million during its first year and that it’s since expanded to more than 10,000 members with annual revenue “well into the eight figures.” The company also recently developed a tech platform that uses data and human moderators to help match freelancers with clients and one another.
Nadi Olson said investors have approached We Are Rosie in the past, but the company did not accept outside funding until this round. A spokeswoman declined to reveal specifics of the deal beyond the fact that Nadi Olson will continue as CEO and retain a significant stake in the company.