Innovation That Matters

Remote working platform | Photo source Avi Richards on Unsplash

Where Are They Now: Gigrove

Work & Lifestyle

We caught up Gigrove, once a remote job-recruiting platform and now an e-commerce solution for freelancers and solo entrepreneurs

Nearly four years after Springwise first covered Gigrove, we check in with founder Marko Islamovic. The company has since pivoted from being a remote job-recruiting platform —one that could even match skilled travellers with hosts needing work done – to an e-commerce solution for freelancers and solo entrepreneurs.

GigRove founder Marko Islamovic.

Gigrove now offers those looking to sell their products or services a complete digital store that can deliver products via digital files. Customers can also book services through a simple calendar.  

“It’s kind of like having a personal website with an ability to easily list and sell digital product but also other professional services like coaching and consulting,” Islamovic says.

Like one would when starting any other website, users first search for an available domain name on Gigrove’s website and can have a web store up and running in less than five minutes, according to the company. It’s this ability to quickly set up a professional e-commerce site that helps set Gigrove apart from other digital marketplaces for freelancers, like Fiverr, according to Islamovic.

“Marketplaces are becoming too crowded, discriminating and clients are not getting the best work in return. We believe that there should be a different approach, the one where workers centralize their online presence through a dedicated web store and promote and engage in the marketing of their offering whatever way they choose to. This is where Gigrove comes into play,” he says.

While other digital stores function like marketplaces, Gigrove provides ready-made online shops that include tools for bookkeeping, sales, marketing, design and analytics.

The Gigrove web store.

There are two options for prospective web store users: a free account and a premium plan (€13.40/$14.99 per month) that includes unlimited product listings, a custom domain name, analytics tools and the ability to add multiple team members. The company also takes a small fee from each sale made.

Islamovic and his team have proven to be open to trying new ways to help creatives, freelancers, entrepreneurs and digital nomads live and work a location-independent lifestyle.

In 2015, it set out to be the ultimate place for remote hiring — a platform that collated a massive collection of remote jobs and provided companies with a large database of remote workers from around the world. One innovative feature also enabled hosts to offer short-term accommodation to skilled guests, swapping out monetary payments for personal services.

But the original concept of connecting those who need work done with people who want to work remotely is still driving the company’s latest offering. The new approach aims to give more control to those doing the work while still making it easy for companies to find the workers they need.

“We’ve been in the freelancer/digital nomad market since the beginnings, and, gradually, we saw an opportunity to help the same people bring their skills online through a dedicated web store that’s exclusively made to sell one’s work,” Islamovic says. “With web stores, we want to encourage clients to come to professionals and easily be able to shop for their work”

Islamovic remains a passionate advocate for and believer in location-independent, globally connected living that seamlessly integrates work into the everyday.

“The concept of a home and work will change for many,” he says. “More and more people will live in a mobile manner and ultimately, have multiple homes and jobs over the years.”

No matter the approach, the company’s progress is based on establishing trust with end users and listening to feedback. But they also never forget to stay true to their vision. It’s a balancing act, and one that Islamovic says has taught him some lessons.

As a company develops, Islamovic recommends getting the crazy experimentation out of the way as early as possible. His experience with GigRove taught him that making design changes and trying new ideas later on can be difficult. Users can become accustomed to an original product and workflow, so change must be handled delicately.

Islamovic has also come to believe that the environment where the work is done greatly influences the work that we do. According to remote workers he has met, it helps relieve stress and many are able to live healthier lives. He sees Gigrove’s role as helping people enhance that common line of work and life.

“The future of work is remote – a future with more health, better employee performances, and a generally more joyful life,” he says.