Fiverr acquires And Co, maker of software for freelancers

It sounds like a natural fit: Fiverr, an online marketplace where businesses can hire freelancers, is acquiring And Co, a New York City startup building online tools that freelancers can use manage their client relationships.

What’s surprising is the new price that Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman plans to charge for And Co’s software — absolutely free.

Kaufman explained that many of And Co’s capabilities, such as invoicing, are “baked into” the Fiverr marketplace. However, “the fact is that the vast majority of freelancing is happening offline” — and Kaufman wants to enable those offline relationships, even if they involve freelancers who don’t use Fiverr at all.

Does that sound a bit too altruistic? Well, it could be the right way to help the company reach new freelancers, and to build loyalty among the ones already on the platform.

Kaufman said he’s aiming to take a more “holistic” view of the freelancer community: “We think this investment in that community is going to serve all of us.” And he noted that And Co is a relatively young and small company (it was founded in 2015), while Fiverr is “raising more money and generating more capital, which allows us to take tools like the tools of And Co and just make them free.”

He added that even though the software will be available for free, Fiverr has “a roadmap for the next few years … and a full commitment to continue investing in it.”

And Co was started at the Prehype incubator, and it raised a $2 million seed round led by Thrive Capital in 2016. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Kaufman said And Co will continue to operate as a separate brand for now, with the entire team joining Fiverr.

“Having the opportunity to join the Fiverr team is an extension of AND CO’s original mission of enabling people to focus on the work they love most,” said And Co co-founder and CEO Leif Abraham in the announcement.