GigRove is a new platform that allows freelancers to connect with startups all over the world and work in exchange for accommodation.
On average, more than 70 million startups have opened globally each year for the past 30 years. Running on small budgets with the need to be agile in their spending, the proliferation of startups has lead to an increase in freelancers. Here at Springwise, we have written about a number of innovations that support those launching their freelance career. This co-working space offers free desk space in exchange for online content, these telepresence robots allow remote graduates to get valuable work experience in New York, and this platform posts project work on a first-come, first-served basis. Now GigRove lets freelancers find startup businesses they can work for abroad, in exchange for accommodation (and sometimes even food).
GiGrove allows freelancers to enjoy one of the primary perks of the job: the ability to work away from the office. Users can enter their skills – graphic design, programming, accounting or social media management and find a business or startup requiring their skills. Alongside this, startups access a diverse pool of global talent and get work done cheaply. The site opened up in beta last summer and currently boasts over 20,000 active users. This roughly breaks down to around 5,000 startup hosts, and nearly 17,000 traveling freelancers, spread across 130 countries. At the moment, users are mostly pre-seed and seed-stage tech startups, covering all sorts of different fields from fashion and healthcare to transportation and fintech.
There is currently no set price for an exchange, leaving users responsible for making an agreement themselves. So, as with so many digital platforms, the assessment of risk and authenticity is mostly the responsibility of the users. As CEO Marko Islamovich explains, GigRove “encourage startup hosts and traveling freelancers to talk more deeply about the project and evaluate whether they are a match. But any time, we may ask startup hosts to upload supporting documents if we happen to believe that there is something suspicious with their listing.” With an increasing number of collaborative consumption platforms requiring authentication of some kind, are there ways these services could join forces to solve the problem?