Fiverr and Stoke Talent: Two Israeli Companies Team Up to Provide Services for Freelancers

The world of work is evolving. ‘The Great Resignation” is demonstrating that more people want to work on their own terms, and in many cases, this can mean abandoning the traditional 9-to-5  office job for freelance work. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused people and companies to become more flexible about off-site work and has encouraged many to dip their toes in the freelance pool.

Fiverr, an “online marketplace for freelance services” which was started in Israel in 2010 and is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has acquired another Israeli startup. Stoke Talent is similar to a  freelance service, but it focuses more on the business side by helping companies manage tasks with freelancers and in-house staff. Fiverr acquired Stoke Talent for $95 million.

The Fiverr Story

Fiverr accomplished what many Israeli startups dream of–a $6.3 billion valuation and a public listing on the New York Stock Exchange in less than a decade after it was founded. The platform was created by Micha Kaufman and Shai Winiger with the concept of a two-sided market for people to buy and sell freelance services. The name Fiverr is derived from the original idea of offering services for just $5, but that is the minimum with some services going up to thousands of dollars.

Unlike bidding sites, like Upwork and LinkedIn with a facilitated application process for specific jobs, Fiverr is like a marketplace where freelancers can advertise their service in the manner of an eCommerce platform and customers can browse and select among their services. To compete with other job and freelance platforms, Fiverr has made a series of acquisitions, and the latest is a fellow Israeli startup Stoke Talent.

Stoke Talent: Simplifying Management Tasks

Most companies have an in-house staff but for special projects, they want to outsource tasks and hire freelancers. In some cases, they may allow freelancers to collaborate with their regular employees. This can be quite complicated and can involve many moving parts, such as deciding how to communicate collectively, coordinating schedules, and dealing with payroll, legal, and taxation issues.

Stoke Talent provides business owners with visibility and control over every aspect of the process, makes onboarding more efficient, and unifies HR strategy. In addition, managers can create a directory for online and offline talent and ensure that targets are being met while staying within budget limits.

A Combination That Works

For Fiverr, a company founded in Israel that has a new home in New York, acquiring the Tel Aviv-based Stoke Talent is a bit like a homecoming, but it isn’t just the Israeli investment aspect that appeals to Fiverr.

By purchasing Stoke Talent, Fiverr can refine and expand its services and deal with both sides of the equation by adding solutions for businesses to its existing freelance platform. Now Fiverr can build an ecosystem through various channels that gives broader opportunities for contractors and businesses.

Stoke Talent CEO Shahar Erez said of the deal, as reported by HCM Technology Report, “This is an amazing opportunity to continue doing what we love to do, but on a much larger and broader scale …there are meaningful synergies between the two companies and we’re excited for what the future holds.”

Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman stated the main reason for the acquisition was that Stoke Talent would provide Fiverr the opportunity to work with much larger customers and to scale its services.

Although Stoke Talent will be officially an acquisition of Fiverr, it will operate independently. Both companies are confident that this union will bring growth and synergies that will broaden their customer base to include individual freelancers as well as large corporations.

Invest in Israel Through Israeli Startups

Startups are the ideal Israeli investments. For those who are fortunate to have millions, providing seed money and watching a company grow must be an exciting form of investment. Most of us, however, do not have access to this type of Israeli investment and buy stocks in companies founded in Israel or may consider an Israeli ETF.

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