TERAWORK: The Fiverr for Africa.
TERAWORK is an online freelance marketplace where business owners and people needing professional services could outsource their tasks, which was founded in 2017 by Femi Taiwo. Today, it’s often referred to as the “Fiverr for Africa.”
Currently, over a thousand individuals, agencies, and SMEs are offering and engaging freelance services on TERAWORK. Freelancers have also earned thousands of dollars working for clients from Africa and other parts of the world.
The uniqueness of the platform is that “every feature people may have seen and used on sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, exist and function as expected on TERAWORK, because we know the users need them. We’ve built needed features such as search (we built our own search engine), real-time chat, content sharing, gig/work management tools, users’ wallets, payments, escrow system, multi-currency support, post-work reviews, and others,” Taiwo said in an interview.
TERAWORK supports transactions in 14 currencies and is looking to expand as it gets users in new locations. Depending on the type and volume of work done, it charges talents between 7% and 13% commission, which is fair compared to the average of 15% common in the freelance marketplace.
So far, TERAWORK has been funded by a mix of revenue from commissions, an angel investment, and various grants. However, it’s looking to raise a financing round later on this year.
Asides from Taiwo, TERAWORK’s founding team comprises two other people: Titi Ogunsina-Taiwo, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Abimbola Sarumi, Director of Engineering.
“Lots of first-timers on our platform are always very sceptical judging by their past experiences but over 60% become repeated buyers because we do things differently,” Ogunsina-Taiwo said.
There have been reported cases of the company having to refund their users because of unsatisfactory work. Refunding users who aren’t satisfied with the work a professional has done is TERWORK’s way of keeping its promises. The company also sanctions freelancers who fail to deliver solid work to their clients. These sanctions typically start with a reduction in the freelancer’s visibility from getting jobs, as seen on other similar platforms.
Talking about success stories, she says, “Some of the things that give us so much joy are the testimonies from some of our users. We receive plenty of good feedback we didn’t ask for. An example is the story of a woman who has been trying to set up her e-commerce site for three years. After several failures paying people on the street who didn’t deliver, she finally got it up and running via one freelancer on TERAWORK. There’s also the story of a freelancer who paid his house rent and school fees in 2020 from his income from TERAWORK.
What keeps TERAWORK going is that people with marketable skills in Nigeria and beyond can now join TERAWORK, freely create an online portfolio, work on-demand for clients globally and earn a decent income. Also, businesses with lean budgets who can’t afford to hire experienced permanently can now hire on-demand.
Credit: Tech Cabal