Sramana: So you built WorkMarket to help freelancers?
Jeff Leventhal: WorkMarket is a solution that allows people to manage freelance at scale. If your company is spending money on a thousand freelancers a day because your company has committed millions to that strategy, WorkMarket is a solution that will allow you to find people and verify who they are before you engage them. You can then manage the work they are doing and pay them for that work.
Sramana: Are you using your previous experience of telesales?
Jeff Leventhal: I am using my teambuilding experience. I hired an amazing VP of Sales a year ago and he is executing on that strategy. Our target clients spend at least $1 million a year on freelancers. We have 350 clients who use WorkMarket at that scale today.
Sramana: What are your top freelance categories?
Jeff Leventhal: The top categories are technology services. It’s everything from digital signage, point of sale machines, and desktop infrastructure technology. Field marketing is another very large area for us. That includes brand ambassador work such as kiosk and merchandising. After that, the top fields tail off into various categories such as healthcare, yoga instructors, teachers, and consulting. We see jobs where people earn $5,000 a day and others where they make $100 for an assignment, so it really goes the full gamut.
Sramana: How do freelancers get into the pool?
Jeff Leventhal: Current marketplaces are geared to SMB. We are focused on the user experience for enterprises. We build supply in step with our client needs. We have tools that map skills to their needs and help them manage their recruitment campaigns. We help companies curate. People are invited in or come through referrals. We have 65,000 people in our database and 25,000 of them are working at any given moment.
Sramana: What is the gross transaction volume you are doing on WorkMarket right now?
Jeff Leventhal: About $100 million.
Sramana: Are you operating this on a commission percentage?
Jeff Leventhal: We have two revenue models. If you come to WorkMarket and sign up, then we have a 10% revenue model where we earn 10% on the transactions. Most of our clients are on a subscription. They already know they are going to spend a lot of money on freelancers and want to be cost effective. We make money a little differently. The throughput number that we have is not indicative of the work going on. Some clients curate their workforces. We took enterprise class software and a marketplace and put them together, so our model is very unique.
Sramana: Did you finance this company yourself?
Jeff Leventhal: I did not. We have three VC firms who have helped make this happen. We have raised $16 million and they are the best business partners in the world.
Sramana: What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Jeff Leventhal: Anyone can do it. You don’t need capital; in fact it can hurt a young entrepreneur. Once you get capital, you will understand how to use it and appreciate it. It’s all about passion and thinking of the purpose of the business in the world. It should be a business that makes the world a better place.
Sramana: You are obviously a very good entrepreneur and have shared some great advice. Thank you for taking the time to share. Good luck with WorkMarket.