Outsized closes Series A to expand Talent-on-Demand platform globally
Outsized, the platform for top-tier independent talent in Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East, will grow its team in sales and engineering, expand in existing regions, and accelerate product development for both enterprise clients and independent talent following a recent series A funding. The Investment enables Outsized to strengthen its position as one of the leading growth markets player in the global USD 5 billion freelance platform market.
Through its AI-powered platform, the company offers enterprises access to a curated network of 25,000 vetted, top-tier independent professionals. Before Outsized, talent platforms in growth markets predominantly focused on low-skilled, short-term opportunities. Other than legacy recruitment firms, there was no place for clients to go for professional, highly skilled independents.
As part of its Middle East expansion, Outsized plans to establish a regional office in the second quarter of 2024. Outsized’s Co-founder & CEO, Johann van Niekerk, added, “We already have a Managing Director for MENA based in the region, focused on not only increasing our presence in our current sectors but also on expanding our client base among both private enterprises and government entities, as we have been receiving an overwhelming response from these clients.”
The Middle East is currently experiencing a significant surge in the adoption of technology, according to a company statement. These regional trends are aligned with global best practices across various industries. This encompasses a wide range of developments, including the widespread digitisation initiatives and ambitious mega projects undertaken by regional governments. Moreover, the prevalent skills gap for subject matter experts underscores the favourable conditions for a freelance revolution in the region.
Companies across the Middle East are actively recruiting flexible talent, and there are three main drivers for the strong increase in demand for freelancers:
Agile and Flexible Talent Models: Companies are increasingly moving towards more agile and flexible talent models to adapt to market changes and technological advancements efficiently.
Skills Gap: There is a noticeable skills gap in certain areas, prompting companies to look internationally for independent professionals to stay competitive. This is particularly true for sectors like technology, consulting, and risk management.
Government Initiatives: Governments in the region are facilitating this transformation by introducing freelancer-friendly visas in certain sectors and skills areas as well as other legal frameworks, making it easier for companies to hire freelancers.
Niekerk pointed out that “these trends are supported by our recent Mid-Year Demand Trends report, which showed a 125 percent growth in demand for risk professionals and a 200 percent increase in demand for consulting roles from H1 of last year to H1 of 2023.”
Overall, the freelance market in the Middle East is robust and shows signs of continued growth, driven by both market needs and supportive government policies.