We’ve gotten a tip that Solvate, a venture-backed marketplace for hiring freelance work, is shutting down. Apparently, the freelancers who do work through Solvate have been told that the service will end effective March 1.
I’ve emailed and called Solvate, and haven’t gotten a response yet. (I will update this post if hear back.) I also tried to sign-up for a new client account on the Solvate website, where I was told that the company is no longer accepting new users. Comments on Twitter seem to confirm that Solvate is sending out emails about its shut down, and notifying users when they log in.
Here’s the text:
Dear Solvate user,
Effective March 1st, we are shutting down this service. We are proud to have connected US-based independent professionals with companies for contract work, but ultimately we couldn’t scale it in its current configuration.
We will collect for work performed through February 29th, and pay talent accordingly, after which you can connect with your existing talent or clients of your own accord. We will issue 1099’s for work performed in 2012 through February 29th.
We regret any inconvenience this may cause you! If you have any questions, let us know: email@example.com.
Solvate first launched in 2009 as a way to connect businesses with remote assistants to handle basic tasks like PowerPoint presentations or transcription. (In my initial coverage, I wondered whether the company’s aim of providing a hands-on, full-service approach might stunt its growth.) It later expanded to other types of freelance work, such as marketing and creative services.
Judging from Solvate’s wording, it’s not clear whether the company is shutting down completely or will relaunch with a new strategy. The New York-based startup raised a reported $6.3 million in funding from RRE Ventures, DFJ Gotham, and others — including a $4 million Series B about a year ago — so it might still have money in the bank.