Freelance Engineer Marketplace Now Sells Designers

Massive Freelance Engineer Marketplace Toptal Now Sells Designers

Software is eating the world, but who’s setting the table? Engineers, and everyone needs them. But companies that hire freelance programmers are realizing an ugly product is as broken as buggy code. The talent crunch around engineers has now spawned a parallel desperation for designers. Toptal wants to answer that call by routing designers with spare cycles to companies in need after doing the same with engineers. Toptal is one of those companies that Silicon Valley doesn’t talk about enough just because it isn’t out raising gobs money. But that’s because it hasn’t had to. With so much demand, Toptal’s freelance engineer marketplace merely needed a $1.4 million seed from Andreessen Horowitz, and angels like Quora’s Adam D’Angelo and Adam Rockefeller to build a profitable business. It’s on track for an $80 million annual run rate, and it only started in 2010. True to the company’s nature, founder and CEO Taso Du Val insists “we’re the largest company in the world without an office.” Toptal finds high quality engineers who for whatever reason don’t want a traditional 9 to 5…or a 9 to 9 as is more common in startupland. It screens them to ensure they’re top tal ent, and works to set a reasonable rate for their services. Meanwhile Toptal takes job requirements from companies looking for a freelancer, negotiates a budget, and vets them too. Val tells me evaluating both sides prevents anyone from having a “shitty experience”. Confident both sides are legit, Toptal matches them up. Rather than making the hirer sort through dozens of resumes, Toptal sends them on average just 1.7 choices of coders before the client signs a contract. Client pays Toptal, Toptal pays the freelancer, and Toptal pockets the difference. Val refused to reveal Toptal’s margin but he says its “a markup […]