South African venture capitalist (VC) firm Knife Capital led a Series A funding round in Outsized, a talent-on-demand platform with operations in Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.
The funding round, for an undisclosed amount, included investment from several private investors, including Adrian Durham, founder of the global wealth management platform FNZ Group.
In a statement, Knife Capital says the investment enables Outsized to strengthen its position in the global $5 billion freelance platform market.
It notes the company will grow its sales and engineering teams, expand in existing regions, and accelerate product development for enterprise clients and independent talent.
Through its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform, Outsized offers enterprises access to a curated network of 25 000 vetted independent professionals.
Knife Capital points out that before Outsized was established, talent platforms in growth markets predominantly focused on low-skilled, short-term opportunities.
It explains that other than legacy recruitment firms, there was no place for clients to go for professional, highly-skilled independents.
Enterprises can now select and contract independent consultants within days, or assemble entire teams to quickly execute important projects, it adds.
According to the VC firm, since its pilot in 2016, Outsized has experienced remarkable year-on-year growth.
“As a young firm, we’re already a key partner to a large number of management consulting firms and major enterprises. This funding is a game-changer, paving the way for new, innovative solutions for our clients and talent,” says Niclas Thelander, founder and CMO of Outsized.
“We are extremely excited to spearhead this investment round,” says Keet van Zyl, co-founding partner at Knife Capital.
“What really struck us about Outsized is the positive and growing unit economics and the fact they have consistently achieved previous forecasts. The team has clearly demonstrated that they can execute and do justice to the scale of the opportunity.
“Most of the future growth in the global freelance platform market will come from the very geographies and segments of the market where Outsized is already a leader, so the business is well-poised.”
Outsized has several new products in the works, including new modules for enterprise clients and services for professional freelancers.
“The integration of AI technology into Outsized’s product offerings and core operations is already under way, enhancing the user experience for both clients and talent,” says Outsized CEO Johann van Niekerk.