French startup StarOfService has recently switched its business model and has been profitable for the month of January 2019. The company operates a marketplace for independent contractors, a sort of Thumbtack for the rest of the world.
If you’re looking for a plumber, a music teacher or a DJ for a wedding, StarOfService can help you find one. The service is now available in 80 countries in Europe and has worked with 500,000 professionals over the years. It’s unclear how many of them are active right now.
There are 6 million requests posted every year, and StarOfService currently generates $73.7 million (€65 million) in transactions per month.
Originally, you first created a request and sent it to the platform. Professionals had 24 hours to bid on your request, and clients could pick a service provider based on reviews and quotes.
StarOfService would charge contractors every time they’d see a request. It was a sort of lead-generation platform for independent contractors. Depending on the conversion rate, StarOfService could have been more attractive for some platforms compared to others.
The company has shifted to a more traditional yellow pages model — even though you don’t pay to get listed. Based on your request, you get a list of potential contractors and you can then contact them through the platform. If you say that you’re interested by sending a message or clicking on the phone number button, StarOfService charges the contractor.
It’s also interesting to see that the startup is communicating about its profits and losses. It sounds like StarOfService is optimizing its bottom line for an acquisition or a fundraising round.