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‘Freelance marketplace’ founded in university dorm secures £150k investment

Karl Swanepoel

A Caerphilly-based start-up that aims to support small businesses and fledgling freelancers has secured £150k in pre-seed funding from venture capital firm, SFC Capital.

Revolancer is an online marketplace that connects businesses with quality-approved freelancers for digital projects, and is hoping to revolutionise recruitment in the digital skills market.

The company was founded in January by Karl Swanepoel as a university dorm room project and has previously secured £13k from Aberystwyth University after winning their InvEnterPrize student enterprise competition earlier this year.

Investing alongside SFC Capital is Edward Falzon, a Morgan Stanley veteran of 25 years, who will also be working closely with the Revolancer team as a strategic advisor, alongside founding CMO of Just Eat, Mat Braddy, and founder of Alpacr, Dan Swygart.

Having completed successful tests with sample users, the Revolancer Marketplace is now live and has already seen a number of businesses work with freelance talent through the platform. It’s now hoped that the new funding will kickstart its growth and attract a wider cohort of corporate and freelancer users.

Speaking of the investment, Mr Falzon said: “Revolancer is an enabler, a true marketplace for freelancers, building a community that puts the freelancer first.

“Karl recently graduated from university and already has an impressive track record of running profitable businesses. His combination of passion and intuition, along with the smart team he has surrounded himself with, are the reasons why I wanted to be part of his journey.”

Founder and CEO, Karl, expressed his optimism for the company’s potential to innovate the industry and support freelance careers with the funding: “As a young entrepreneur myself, I know how difficult it can be to start from scratch; I hope Revolancer will break down those barriers for others by offering a trusted platform to find freelance work and build a skills portfolio that helps their business to grow naturally.

“Given the flexible working revolution we’ve seen since the first Covid-19 lockdown, the ability to work and hire remotely is more in demand than ever, so it’s a hugely relevant and exciting domain to be part of.

“We believe this is the future. We do the leg work for our clients, with quality vetting and payment protection in our hands as well as facilitating the employment process on our platform, so we’re hoping that this will be well adopted and transform the freelancing space.

“Our in-house tech provisions already keep turnaround times and expenses low, so we feel we can really hit the ground running with this investment. The team is over the moon and we’re looking forward to seeing where it will take us next.”

Alpacr Founder Dan Swygart said: “After my first conversation with Karl, I knew instantly that they were working on something very exciting! Since then I’ve been blown away by the speed and strength of the team -most of which have only just graduated!”

Brand Founder at Just Eat, Mat Braddy said: “It’s been great to see Revolancer grow – I’m helping the team use viral growth strategies that we pioneered at Just Eat, in order to take the platform to the next level.”