Freelancer.com says it has cemented its position as the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users after reaching 50 million registered users.

The company claims the milestone comes after a year of record growth in 2020 in which the coronavirus pandemic prompted 2.1 million new users to offer their services online and a corresponding spike in businesses actively engaging with distributed workforce networks.

According to the Freelancer Fast 50 annual report the number of new users grew 17 per cent year-on-year.

Matt Barrie, CEO and Chairman of Freelancer.com, said COVID-19 boosted the already upward trend towards freelance work, but he added, “Last year’s exponential growth reflects the strong desire for individuals to start their own enterprise, work on their own terms and supplement their income. This is a global industry that didn’t exist a dozen years ago and the Freelancer marketplace has enabled 50 million users with a dream to make it real.”

Some of the 50 million Freelancers who have used the platform to build their success include:

Anne Valentino a freelance writer based in Rochester, New York, joined the platform in 2015 and says she hit the six-figure mark in revenue eight months after signing up.

“I just finished ghostwriting a project and the client said the primary reason he hired me was that I had a Ph.D. from an American university.”

Toronto-based Michael Teofilo (Webeteer Inc on Freelancer) says he has earned $500,000 on the platform since joining in 2012. Teofilo, who  started as a freelance graphic designer on the platform, says he now hires other freelancers to do the work for his agency.

“I’ve been on both ends of the equation, as an employer and a freelancer. People want to know they are dealing with another human being as opposed to a bot”

Formerly from the UK, Scott Edlington (StencilMedia on Freelancer) turned his skills as a motion graphics and visual effects designer into a ‘location independent’ lifestyle.

“I can work anywhere in the world where I can get an internet connection and plug in my laptop.”

While some people are earning all or the lion’s share of their income from freelamcer.com, a spokesperson acknowledges that many people also used the site to augment their regular income.

Due to the distributed nature of users on the site, a company spokesperson said freelancer had changed the lives of millions of people for the better, lifting whole families out of poverty, while providing access to vital online talent to kickstart startups and grow established businesses around the globe.

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