Companies

Aug 3, 2017

Freelancer’s rapid, precipitous fall from grace

Freelancer was never the biggest player in its space. But now it's got bigger problems.

Adam Schwab — Business director and commentator

Adam Schwab

Business director and commentator

While managing to escape without any mainstream press coverage, the collapse of Freelancer’s share price has been a rapid fall from grace for former BRW Rich Lister Matt Barrie. Shares in Freelancer, Barrie’s tightly held outsourcing marketplace, are in free fall, dropping more than 70% from a high of $1.80 in early 2016 to only 52 cents today. The former market darling’s value has slumped to $238 million, a far cry from $800 million around 18 months ago.

There wouldn’t be any shortage of schadenfreude among Australian tech insiders, many of whom openly questioned Barrie’s business model and his seemingly lofty view of his own abilities. Your correspondent repeatedly questioned Freelancer’s prospects shortly after its 2013 float and again a few months later.

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