Refrens is at present engaged on creating a enterprise working system for freelancers, which helps them handle their end-to-end enterprise operations, proper from leads, gross sales, invoices, funds, tax reviews amongst others
The corporate claims to have about 25Ok freelancers at present from 50 nations and with companies in 128 nations served
Refrens goals to have 2 Mn freelancers on its platform by 2023, incomes anyplace between $20 to $50 a month
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the economic system arduous and corporations internationally are drastic cuts in hiring and spending. However one specific job market that’s rising amid rising unemployment price within the nation is the freelance market or unbiased staff.
The freelancing and gig economic system is right here to remain and it has now allowed massive corporations, startups and different organisations to rent a number of freelancers with a number of abilities for the value of a single worker. And with pay cuts, hiring freeze and layoffs, even gifted job seekers and dealing professionals at the moment are alternate options and freelance work to leverage their abilities and expertise, whereas incomes significant earnings from residence.
And Bengaluru-based Refrens is trying to turn out to be the go-to platform for these new brigade of freelancers and at-home staff. Can the freelance economic system unlock India’s talent potential which has been to this point taken up by company positions?
Within the post-Covid market, Refrens has witnessed 1500 freelancers come on board for the reason that launch of its market earlier final month. And founder Naman Sarawagi believes that this demand will preserve growing over the subsequent few months as massive companies proceed to go for distant operations. He claims freelancing will turn out to be inevitable within the coming years, as an increasing number of corporations are witnessing the fee advantages, alongside the benefit and adaptability of outsourcing the work.
“The technology adoption has definitely increased. During the initial days of lockdown, from March till May, the market was completely dry as there was zero or limited work happening, and the entire focus of the country was around healthcare and safety. However, in recent times, as businesses have slowly started to open up, the demand for freelancers has increased,” Sarawagi informed Inc42.
In response to a report by ASSOCHAM, the annual progress price of the gig economic system is rising at a compound annual progress price of 17%, anticipated to succeed in $455 Bn by 2023. In one other examine, virtually one in 5 staff will probably be freelancers or contract staff by 2020.
Now, with Covid-19 having accelerated the expansion of the business multifold, freelancers are marching in the direction of varied marketplaces to discover the chance. Bridging the hole between freelancers and companies, a number of freelance marketplaces have emerged within the house moreover Refrens, together with Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer and Outsourcely amongst others.
In Could 2020, Refrens raised an undisclosed quantity of funding from Firstcheque and angel buyers together with Paytm chief Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal, Gireesh Subramaniam of Freshworks, Park+ founder Amit Lakhotia, Voonik founders Sujayath Ali and Naveneetha Krishnan, Zebpay CEO Ajeet Khurana amongst others.
How Refrens Is Fixing Funds & Taxation For Freelancers
Nonetheless, freelancers nonetheless face uncertainties corresponding to irregular earnings and never being paid by the distributors or purchasers. On the identical time, the reliability of freelancers to execute the mission can also be underneath query.
Delving into what units Refrens aside, Sarawagi claimed that it’s one in every of India’s first marketplaces for freelancers that’s targeted on white-collar workforce in India. A lot of the current platforms cater to the worldwide markets and there are very restricted Indian service suppliers on these platforms. Plus, funds is a big problem and Refrens is focussed on fixing this by means of cost assortment and invoicing course of.
Refrens presents a free web-based SaaS device that freelancers and companies can use to handle their end-to-end workflow, together with lead era for brand spanking new work, invoicing, funds and tax reviews amongst others. Likening Refrens to ecommerce platforms, Sarawagi mentioned that in a freelancing market, as soon as the consumer avails the service, it isn’t returnable, subsequently the verification of the profiles turns into essential.
To make sure the credibility of the freelancers, the corporate does thorough KYC onboarding, leverages synthetic intelligence and machine studying instruments in addition to a profile that lets freelancers showcase their previous and ongoing tasks and assist them generate leads.
As an illustration, if a third-party firm is availing providers from a freelancer on Refrens, and if they have an inclination to delay the cost course of, it will elevate a purple flag, and needed motion could be taken. This enhances the credibility of the platform for each the service suppliers and acquirers, which isn’t so easy with out the assistance of a platform like Refrens.
Tapping The World Marketplace for Freelancers
Refrens is at present engaged on creating a enterprise working system for freelancers, which helps them handle their end-to-end enterprise operations, proper from leads, gross sales, invoices, funds, tax reviews amongst others.
This is rather like managing a enterprise for oneself, which is one thing that the majority freelancers by no means take up due to the cumbersome processes and documentation. Most are content material in receiving funds later and utilizing a Chartered Accountant for tax submitting, however Refrens is trying to give them management. SaaS merchandise that companies use usually don’t cater to unbiased staff or freelancers. For this reason a platform corresponding to Refrens is sensible for these primarily working freelance.
The corporate claims to have about 25Ok freelancers at present from 50 nations and with companies in 128 nations served. “About 7% of freelancers come from outside India, and we offer one of the cheapest ways to receive international card payments in India for these freelancers,” claimed Sarawagi.
Freelancers are already utilizing Refrens for greenback invoicing, Sarawagi had informed Inc42 earlier. The startup covers 37 currencies throughout 100 nations and makes use of Cashfree as a cost gateway for home transactions. For on-line funds, it expenses a nominal charge of 1.65% on all debit playing cards or UPI transactions and a 2.3% on bank cards, cost gateways and netbanking.
Going forward, Refrens plans so as to add lending and credit score amenities for freelancers from partnered banks and fintech corporations. This may enable them to purchase any gear or gear wanted to proceed their work. “By 2023, we will have about 2 Mn freelancers on our platform, earning anywhere between $20 to $50 a month, and helping them get more customers,” the founder informed Inc42.