The problem with existing online jobs marketplaces is that: you can’t post a project from countries where outward remittance transfer is restricted. As a result countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and many other developing and under developed countries can’t post project and hire freelancer via existing platforms like odesk, freelnacer etc. Companies and organizations with a need for freelancers from these countries largely depend on personal network, referral and sometimes even hire people to get things done. This is a real problem and this is where Belancer.com-a Bangladeshi startup comes in.
Founded by two Bangladeshi, the startup aims to build an online jobs marketplace for Bangladesh market and aims to expand in similar countries in coming years. This platform allows local companies and organizations to post project, hire freelancer and make payment via local payment gateways. Soft launched in few months back, the startup has already raised USD 50k seed money from few undisclosed USA based angel investors.
Bangladesh is the 3rd largest freelancer destination and the number of unemployed graduates is increasing every day creating opportunity for further growth. At the same time, number of IT companies, SMEs and startups is growing too. Belancer.com aims to tap into these opportunities.
We recently spoke to Shofiul Alam, co-founder of Belancer.com to understand the progress. “We have invested significant amount of resources in last one and half year,” said Shofiul and “we are receiving great responses. So far we have 500 freelancers and 50 companies using our platforms and it is growing.” The startup plans to make money from commission on work done.
There is a market for this and there is even scope for international expansion. However, it depends on how it works in Bangladesh and responses it receives from market. Convincing freelancers to work for local companies at a lower rate than international payment rate would be a challenge. At the same time, if existing marketplaces decide to play in developing and underdeveloped markets it will create another new challenge to tackle for Belancer.