BEHIND THE HYPE: Outsourcing business on the internet - Smarterwork aims to offer freelance work on the web

OK, so these guys aren't brand new but the Smarterwork website has undergone a relaunch recently and therefore deserves attention.

OK, so these guys aren't brand new but the Smarterwork website has undergone a relaunch recently and therefore deserves attention.

The site is a business-to-business marketplace for employers and freelancers.

Employers post up jobs they need done on a project basis and how much they are willing to pay, and then the online experts pitch for whichever jobs they want to do.

Site characteristics The site has ditched the white and pink ID which it used for its launch late last year, and has adopted a more tasteful, subtle colour scheme. The brand is operating in eight languages and has offices in six countries including Germany, France, Norway and Spain.

Target demographics The site is aimed at freelancers and specialists in the areas it covers, as well as small- to medium-sized businesses and big corporations looking to outsource tasks.

Principals Smarterwork was formed in autumn 1999 by three young Belgians: Bruno Monteyne, Jan van den Berghe and Francois de Borchgrave.

Backers In October 1999, Smarterwork secured dollars 1 million seed capital from the European venture capitalist Net-Partners. In February 2000, Smarterwork got second-round funding of dollars 12 million from Index Ventures, Net-Partners and Wellington Partners.

Marketing The online brand is running a pounds 100,000 advertising campaign in the trade press with the help of Walker Media and M&C Saatchi.

Competitors Although there seems to be an endless stream of online recruitment brands, no-one does anything quite like this.



THE YEAR AHEAD

Excellent prospects

Smarterwork is approaching its launch anniversary - frankly, the future looks bright.



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