After discovering another new freelance marketplace on TikTok, I decided to write this article breaking down the state of freelance marketplaces in the country. I previously made a short TikTok on 3 Singapore-based freelance marketplaces, you can watch that video here.
According to an article, the global freelance marketplace market size was valued at USD 3443.5 Million in 2021 and it is projected to reach US 9295.92 Million by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 15.96% from 2021 to 2028. I can’t seem to find similar data online with regard to the market sizing in Singapore however I will update this article when that changes.
The concept of freelancing isn’t new in Singapore
Singapore’s freelancers are classified as self-employed persons by the government, and these individuals typically work as ad-hoc employees in F&B businesses, or as private drivers, insurance agents, real estate agents, delivery riders, media-related positions, & marketing/sales positions.
The government has been creating yearly labor surveys to track the growth of the space and mode of employment.
According to the labor report published by the Singapore government in 2022, there are 257,300 freelancers in Singapore. These freelancers consist of full-time project-based workers, students, housewives, and retirees.
The same report also noted that freelance marketplaces are gaining popularity, and 90% of freelancers in Singapore use such platforms to market their service offerings, acquire new businesses, or simply increase their workload.
Singapore Freelance Marketplaces
Let’s take a look at the freelance marketplace that caters to creative, and other adjacent industry freelancers.
Self-proclaimed to be an AI-powered platform, Jobslah helps Singapore freelancers find contract or part-time jobs on their platform. This particular platform was created by Info-Tech, a technology company with more than 25 years of expertise in assisting businesses across different sizes and industries to streamline their human resources efforts while increasing maximum efficiency. Info-Tech also owned offices in 3 different countries while operating Jobslah.
JobsLah is a relatively new platform having launched on June 15 this year, their vision is to be the leading all-in-one recruitment platform for both freelancers and employers.
The business model of Jobslah isn’t clearly defined on their website. Freelancers interested in using the platform should conduct their due diligence before diving into the platform.
Here’s a snapshot of Jobslah’s team taken from their website.
Founded in 2020, Glance aims to provide a hassle-free experience to businesses by connecting them with talented freelancers. Glance’ platform fees are however hefty, freelancers are charged 15% per project completed on the platform. This might be one platform that charges such high fees among the other freelance marketplaces that I have come across in my career.
According to Crunchbase, the platform has raised a total of $76.5K in unspecified rounds from an investor like Enterprise Singapore. The company has also appeared in numerous local media channels increasing their overall digital presence.
Other products by Glance’s team
Werk is a freelance marketplace that targets individuals specifically. On their website, they highlighted that they are a ‘platform that allows individuals to provide services as well as to hire services for their own needs’. The company runs regular social media competitions on their Instagram & TikTok profiles to increase their brand awareness and user engagement. It has also assisted the growth of new projects and opportunities being created on the platform.
After using their platform for some time, I have come to notice that there are an increasing number of sales and marketing companies who use Werk. sg to hire commission-based employees for their businesses.
Similar to Jobslah, Werk. sg was also founded recently. According to their profile on SGPgrid, Werk. sg was launched on the 1st of December 2022. The company doesn’t seem to have raised any external funding from incorporation to the launch of its mobile application.
According to its website, Quest has had over 135K app downloads since its inception. The company has also raised a total of $100K in 2 rounds of funding (a pre-seed round in 2021, and another unspecified round in August last year). The 2 rounds of funding have seen participation from Antler, and Goodwater Capital.
The platform aims to change how side hustles are perceived and the strategies businesses use to secure skillful talents. Projects on Quest are different from the other platforms as covered in my article.
Here’s a snapshot of the available quests on the platform:
Opportunities on Quest are competitive and operate on a ‘first-comes-first-serve’ basis where some ‘quests’ are completed in under an hour. Quest’s website is comprehensive and detailed as compared to the other players in the local market. This shows the effort and professionalism they place in building the platform to change the gig economy.
Other products by Quest’s team
If you are currently studying in a tertiary institution, you might find some lucrative opportunities through this next platform.
Hust assists students to build real-world skills by collaborating with businesses to offer short-term projects on its mobile app. The company previously raised an undiscovered pre-seed round of funding in August last year. There also wasn’t any mention of the investors who were involved in that particular round.
I didn’t manage to explore the mobile app as I do not possess an institution email address which was one requirement Hust has set for new users upon registration. I might be adding additional remarks related to Hust as and when it comes to me.
The following freelance marketplaces listed below offer positions that are in the F&B, or self-categorised as hard labour industries.
This might be one of the most established freelance marketplaces in Singapore. Founded in 2016, and has raised over $13M, Workmate connects verified freelancers with businesses across the hospitality, F&B, events, retail, and logistics industries.
Projects on Workmate are shift-based, allowing freelancers to pick according to their preferences and availabilities.
Here are some of the available opportunities on the platform:
Learn more about Workmate here.
Some freelancers appreciate getting paid daily or immediately after completing a gig, and EL Connect facilitates that happening.
EL Connect is a freelance marketplace that connects freelancers with businesses. The company’s goal is to make hiring and job hunting an efficient and seamless experience.
As stated in their FAQ section, EL Connect places a strong focus on providing opportunities in the hygiene, food and beverages, retail, manufacturing, and logistic industries. EL Connect is a comparable platform to Workmate.
These 2 platforms are similar to EL Connect and Workmate, where FastGig and FastJobs both offer jobs in the hygiene, food and beverages, and retail industries. FastGig processes payout to freelancers every week, unlike EL Connect which does it every single day.
FastGig was created by FastCo in 2022. FastCo is also the company behind FastJobs, a job portal that specializes in non-executive positions, and FastGig is a platform that aims to address the needs of the growing gig economy. The company has raised a total of $10.5M in a recent Series A funding round back in 2022. Investors such as Cento Ventures, OSK Ventures, and Kairos Capital are a part of their cap table.
the state of freelance marketplaces
Most of the freelance marketplaces do not explicitly state their business models nor do they declare the fees they charge their users. Freelancers interested in using the platforms covered in the article should be mindful of the in-app agreement they accept on the platform to prevent unnecessary charges.
I genuinely feel that there are opportunities for new freelance marketplaces to be built in Singapore that focus on ‘white-collar’ opportunities that can be widely adopted by the local workforce.
On Lemon8, there have been different content created by Gen Z creators on the different side hustle, and freelancing possibilities none of which focuses on blue-collar job opportunities which have received tremendous engagement.
This shows that Gen Zs are open to the idea of becoming a freelancer, and freelance marketplaces are in demand to help prevent work from happening.