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Line invests in Fastwork in bet on growth in the online freelancing market

Oct 20. 2018
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By THE NATION WEEKEND

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LINE Ventures, the venture investment arm of Line Corporation, has announced an investment in the US$4.8 million (Bt156 million) Series A round of financing by online freelancing platform Fastwork.

Other investors for the round include lead investor Gobi Partners, Vickers Venture Partners and Partech Partners. 

Ariya Banomyong, managing director of Line Thailand says that Fastwork will join the Line Scale-up Programme, which will provide the start-up a free access to Line users through the official account and Line API.

“I am excited about this first investment of Line Ventures in Thailand,” said Ariya. “We are here to support the Thai start-up ecosystem. Previously, we launched the Line Scale-up programme for Thai start-ups to gain access to Line API. Going forward, working with Line Ventures, you will see more investments from Line from seed to Series A, and upward.”

Founded in 2015 by a group of engineers and entrepreneurs from New York, Fastwork is one of the largest professional freelancing platforms in Southeast Asia, as judged by the number of users and projects completed.

The company’s revenues have grown 1,100 per cent since December 2017, and it currently employs more than 50 people in Indonesia and Thailand.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Line, and excited to widen our ambitions as we launch new products, enter new markets, and build an end-to-end experience for the 80 million businesses in Southeast Asia,” said Vasa S Iamsuri, Fastwork’s founder and CEO.

The company recently launched “Fastwork Pro” and “Fastwork Enterprise”, both premium services where the top 1 per cent of their best performing freelancers and agencies are selected to offer high quality services and work on large-scale projects to users who are in the growth stage of their businesses.

The platform, in addition to providing a secure payment system, uses a proprietary algorithm called Fastwork Score to screen and rank freelancers on both their quantitative and qualitative data, significantly reducing time for users to find the right match.

In Young Chung, director of Line Ventures, said that e-commerce is at the cusp of rapid long-term growth in the region, underpinned by social commerce platforms. As social commerce creates significant outsourcing demands for SMEs, leading freelancing platforms like Fastwork will enjoy robust growth by providing end-to-end outsourcing solutions for SMEs, he said.

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