PeoplePerHour secures angel round to create a 'European E-Lance'

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PeoplePerHour, the online marketplace matching freelance or self-employed professionals with project work, has closed an Angel funding round. The amount is undisclosed but believed to be in “the low six figures”. The investors include Michael Van Swaaij who was part of the team to launch eBay in Europe and is a former chairman of Skype.

Also taking an advisory role in PPH is Fabrice Grinda (founder of Aucland, later Zingy, sold for $80m, now founder and CEO of OLX.com); Stephan Paternot (founder of TheGlobe.com, investor in Zingy and OLX); Jose Marin (one of the founders of Deremate – eBay of Latin America – and who runs an investment fund called IG Expansion); Amarjit Batra (formerly of Bazee, bought by eBay to form eBay India, and later served as #2 of eBay India); and finally Doug Monro, former MD of Gumtree (sold to eBay), now COO of Zoopla.com.

Peopleperhour concentrates on allowing UK small businesses to outsource project work to home-workers/ freelancers and (more recently) people who are working to supplement their income (the 5-9 workers). The site launched in September 2007 as a marketplace for freelance services and now claims to have 30,000 small businesses and freelancers using it, so there must have been some traction going on there. It also claims 30% repeat usage by new users and 1 million page views per month.

Peopleperhour ‘s main competitors are rather large however – Elance, Guru and Odesk. However, PPH could have an advantage being a European play, since 85% of the projects awarded on the site are local to the buyer, whereas US models are still largely focussed on offshore outsourcing.

Founders are Xenios Thrasyvoulou (CEO) and Simos Kitiris (CTO), both engineers by background.

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