Fiverr adds creative muscle with the acquisition of Working Not Working
On the heels of debuting its first Super Bowl ad, Fiverr has made another major move. The online creative marketplace announced today that it has acquired high-end creative talent platform Working Not Working.
Founded nearly a decade ago by veteran creatives Justin Gignac and Adam Tompkins, WNW has a respected reputation in the creative community, known for supporting and nurturing creative talents and helping them to navigate the tumultuous, changing marketplace at agencies and brands. Over the years, it has expanded its offerings to the full-time job search, as well as various resources for creative talent, such as its own magazine and events.
Fiverr too, has gained prominence since it was founded in 2010. It offers digital services from freelancers in more than 160 countries across more than 500 categories and eight verticals, including graphic design, digital marketing, programming, video and animation. In 2019 the company went public and earned $107.1 million in revenue, a 42% increase from 2018. Its active buyers expanded as well. By year-end 2019, those grew to 2.4 million, up from 2.0 million in 2018, a 17% year-over-year increase.
To the creative set, the pairing might seem incongruous. While Fiverr has built its brand on providing small businesses a wide range of easy-to-access and budget-friendly creative services, it’s not known for its creative cachet.
Admittedly, the WNW founders didn’t see this coming either, until they spoke with the Fiverr team. “It was a surprise to us too,” admits Gignac. “We were skeptical because WNW is our baby, we’re very protective of it and very protective of the community. When we were thinking about acquisition potential over the years, Fiverr is not a name that ever really came up. But every conversation we had, our vision, our goals and how much we care about our community, is aligned.”
“We share a similar belief that talent is borderless and technology can be used to provide global opportunities,” said Micha Kaufman, Fiverr CEO in a statement. “This acquisition expands our penetration into high quality creatives and freelancers and gives them the opportunity to tap into our technology and know-how to help them bring global demand to their community.”
The Working Not Working brand will continue as before, with Gignac and Tompkins at the helm. Only now, the founders say, the acquisition will enable WNW to finally clear all those hurdles that had dogged its growth over the years, in terms of building up its offerings to subscribers as well as expansion into other marketer around the globe. Though it's not apparent on the front end, Gignac and Tomkins have never had more than 15 people on staff over the years, so Fiverr’s resources and infrastructure will provide a welcome boost.
“We’ve always had a small team, with just one designer, one developer,” says Tompkins. “I don’t know how many people they have in their tech department, but I bet it’s definitely more than one.”
Meanwhile, Fiverr gets to expand its reach to elite creative talents. “We are excited to have Working Not Working join us to help our efforts in building new products that appeal to the advertising and marketing communities,” Kaufman added.
With the support of Fiverr, the pair believe WNW will be well-primed for creatives and marketers’ evolving needs. “Especially after these last nine to 10 months, we feel like everything’s really accelerating and this work-from-home thing is going to be more standard, even though [COVID] is going to go away at some point,” Tompkins says. “I think companies are feeling like they can trust their people to work from home and won’t be afraid to hire people outside of their city. We want to be ready for that.”
And who knows, the pair just might have time to go back to doing what they know best—advertising—for their own brand. “It’s really funny,” Gignac says. “Adam and I were art directors and creative directors for 10-plus years, and we’ve never done advertising for Working Not Working. It’s a big thing we want to do this year and we jokingly said, ‘Hey, you never know, maybe next year we’ll have a Super Bowl spot.’”