The COVID-19 pandemic hit the economy and job market hard, with massive layoffs and business closures. Hiring was cut, leading many to seek freelance opportunities that boasted the freelancer labor market. A global report by a leading media agency suggests that freelance jobs increased a 25% in the last quarter of 2020. In South Korea, too, the market for hiring part-timers, freelancers, and short-term workers grew. In the booming gig economy market, Korean startup Kmong, a freelance opportunity platform, delivered outstanding results with its unique business model.
The company recently got a funding boost as it attracted a total of 31.2 billion won about $27 million in investment in April 2021. The startup got its investment from new and existing investors, including Company K Partners, Premier Partners, Korea Development Bank, Intervest, and Mirae Asset Venture Investment.
More successful transactions in 2020
According to Kmong, the number of new service registrations for its service has more than doubled in 2020 compared to 2019, with 98% of registrations coming from the business sector. The number of active buyers and transactions hit a record high as well. The platform connects talented and experienced freelancers with clients in over 400 categories of services, including IT/programming, design, content production, marketing, and business consulting. Kmong’s last funding was in 2018 Series C investment of 11 billion won about $9.7 million.
Kmong recorded a 10-fold increase in transaction volume over the last four years, earning an average of 345 million won ($350k) in IT and programming for the top 10% of experts in each field in 2020, 167 million won ($148k) in design, and 85 million won ($75k) in the video, photo, and music.
Aspiring to make HR cloud service for companies
Kmong was established in June 2012 by Park Hyeonghoin on a much smaller scale as a community of talent. The community grew to a professional platform attracting corporates and enterprises. Kmong has over 2.7 million transactions with a 98.6% success rate. With the fresh investment, Kmong plans to focus on building the’No.1 Human Cloud Service’ that provides all the human resources necessary for companies. In recent years, it has expanded to’Kmong Enterprise’, which connects experts to companies, and ‘Kmong Money Plus’, which provides knowledge content related to investment and side jobs as e-books.
Company K director Byun Joon-young, who participated in this investment, said in a media statement, “Kmong focused on the talent market for a long time and has led to a change in the way we work.” CEO Park Hyeon-ho of Kmong told the media, “We will do our best to develop the platform with a sense of mission so that we can maximize the positive impact in line with the gig economy era.”
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