New “Hourlies” Product Designed to Make the Dream of Self-Employment a Reality for Millions from Coast to Coast
New York, NY - PeoplePerHour, Europe’s biggest online freelance marketplace, today announced the US launch of Hourlies – a new product designed to make the dream of self-employment a reality for millions globally.
Hourlies are online listings that allow anyone to easily sell their services or skills by the hour, starting with as little as one hour. They take just minutes to create and can include text, images and video. Once posted, consumers and businesses the world-over can buy that talent on demand.
PeoplePerHour’s goal with Hourlies is to make it even easier to sell and buy what the company terms ‘semi-remote’ work. Unlike many freelancing sites that promote cheap volume offshoring for services such as computer programming and IT, PeoplePerHour maintains a marketplace of high quality, diverse skills and services offered by people who are often just a car ride away.
“Hourlies is our way of making it simple for every person to join the online working revolution,” says PeoplePerHour founder and CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou. “Everybody has free time and a skill or service that has value to someone. Hourlies connects people with others — even in their own area — who will pay for that skill or service. It helps people not only earn extra cash by ‘moonlighting,’ but also take the first step in creating a full-fledged entrepreneurial business, an ambition many people harbor.”
Since launching in private beta in May, thousands of Hourlies have been posted ranging from small business support services such a video analysis of a website’s effectiveness for $45, to making a full-color illustration in three hours.
“By bringing the unit of work down to as little as one hour, and giving power to the worker to define what they can do and at what price, we’re unlocking a huge untapped market for micro-services that people can deliver in their spare time,” says Thrasyvoulou. “That’s great for workers, and for businesses and consumers the world over who need project-based freelance help.”
Economic data indicates that increasing numbers of employers are hiring freelancers over full-time employees, and that more people than ever earn some or all of their paychecks through online work.
Thrasyvoulou’s vision is that working online will become as easy and mainstream as social media, eventually replacing 9-5 jobs as we know them. “We see a future where you write on Tumblr, Tweet on Twitter, connect on Facebook and sell on PeoplePerHour,” he says.
This ‘democratization of labor’ is the next big disruptive force according to Thrasyvoulou, and will be very transformational.
“Twitter created citizen journalism. We’re creating citizen entrepreneurs.”
PeoplePerHour (www.peopleperhour.com) is a leading global marketplace connecting small businesses with a community of talented independent service providers working online. Founded in 2007 by Xenios Thrasyvoulou and Simos Kitiris, PeoplePerHour has grown to become Europe’s preeminent website for helping businesses get jobs done while facilitating work for hundreds of thousands of freelancers. The company has experienced consistent growth of more than 100% year-over-year since its inception and has expanded operations to the US to match demand for the $83M (£52M) in work being transacted through the site.
PeoplePerHour has raised a total of $8M (£5M), the latest of which is a $5.8M (£3.6M) Series A round that closed in December 2010 and was led by Index Ventures (Etsy, Flipboard, Last.fm, Moo.com) and Michael van Swaaij, former Chairman of Skype.
PeoplePerHour is headquartered in London, England, and has offices in Athens, Greece and New York City
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