Buy or sell any service at 199 Pesos with 199Jobs, a Filipino micro job marketplace
How often have you been in the need of some small services like having a virtual assistant for some days, handling your social media page, getting just one logo designed or having a babysitter for a day? We are all masters of some trade and we are all in need of some services we are not very good at or don’t have much time for. How cool would it be if we could all avail and offer such services based on our expertise and our interests?
Glenn Santos and Fitz Villafuerte, are making this happen for the people in the Philippines with their startup – 199jobs. It is a marketplace where one can buy or sell simple services easily and at an affordable price of 199 Philippine Pesos (or, about Rs 280). The goal is to make outsourcing of simple jobs quick and easy and to help people earn a little extra money by utilizing their skills.
Glenn explains, “The funny thing about the Philippines is that while there are a lot of people who can do work, there really isn’t a site or service that lets people hire others for small jobs. Essentially, I put up 199Jobs for myself but then I also wanted to share it with others, which is why I created a marketplace.”
199Jobs launched its official beta in February this year and is bootstrapped till now, though they are open to funding for accelerating the growth. They have just passed 1,000 jobs posted with over 1,300 users on the site. “The market we are catering to is at least 1 billion USD and is estimated to grow 5x by 2018,” says Glenn. 199Jobs takes 20% cut on the fee to cover their costs. Glenn and Fitz are based in Metro Manila; and, like many of their sellers on 199Jobs, they work remotely most of the time.
Glenn had read somewhere that starting a marketplace is magnitudes harder than building any other type of startup, and he found that to be true. “For one, you have to decide which side you’ll have to grow first – the buyer side or the seller side. And you also have to provide support to everyone, something that I juggle on top of coding new features and site improvements every day. But one thing that I thought was a challenge, but was actually not, was fraud. People were generally nice to each other and were willing to help with site related questions,” says Glenn.
RJ David, founder of Sulit which is one of the top local marketplaces in the Philippenes, is someone Glenn looks up to and takes advice from for his startup. He also admires how Jeff Bezos built Amazon and Elon Musk for always pushing the envelope when it comes to transportation.
He wants 199Jobs to be the go-to site for everyone who needs something done. Starting from the Philippines, they want to expand all across Asia.
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