Amsterdam, March 22, 2022: blackbear, a unique Dutch online marketplace where companies outsource short-term tasks to smart minds, or Solvers, has raised a multimillion investment from Amsterdam-based venture investor No Such Ventures. The investment will be used to further grow blackbear's organization, add new features to the platform, and expand into international markets. After rapid growth in the Netherlands, blackbear plans to spread its wings to multiple countries within Europe later this year.
Launched in early 2019 by friends Joep Wittebrood and Stefan Hoogenboom, with previous experiences at Red Bull and Kempen & Co, combined with the rise of the Gig Economy in the evolving global job market, blackbear was born. It functions as a marketplace where businesses strengthen their workforce remotely and on-demand. For a fixed annual fee, companies gain access to blackbear's platform, where they can post an unlimited number of assignments. These assignments vary from delivering visualizations, conducting market analyses, and optimizing talent acquisition to creating APIs, implementing data/dashboarding, or even achieving sustainability goals. Solvers, mostly Starters and Young Professionals, apply for assignments, get selected, and deliver the requested work within two to four weeks. Both companies and Solvers receive support from blackbear in scoping and outlining the task, in addition to handling administration and payments.
Solvers can independently choose suitable assignments, and the Uber-like two-sided rating system ensures quality and performance on both ends. blackbear occupies a unique position between Gig-Work platforms and traditional consultants. The platform is actively managed, offers high quality, and maintains highly competitive prices. In just eighteen months, blackbear has grown to serve 100+ paying customers and has registered over 6,000+ Solvers. Clients vary from scale-ups to global companies across various industries, including Toyota, Heijmans, CBRE, T-Mobile, Stryker, Louwman, and the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management.
Joep Wittebrood, co-founder, comments, "After a few pivots, we have successfully grown our current model in eighteen months, evident from our traction: we quintupled our monthly revenue and quadrupled our customer base last year."
Stefan Hoogenboom, co-founder, adds, "The expectations for the coming years are very high. This capital injection allows us to accelerate on commercial, technological, and international levels. No Such Ventures is our first formal investor. With limited financial support, we have built a company with around 45 FTE and a highly satisfied and continually growing customer and solver base. We are ready to grow even faster!"
Sophie Heijenberg, investor at No Such Ventures, is delighted to add blackbear to their portfolio: "We were immediately impressed by blackbear's growth to date. They have built a unique platform and value proposition, cleverly responding to market trends within the changing job market and practices of new generations. We look forward to the collaboration!"
About blackbear Founded in 2019, blackbear is a SaaS-enabled marketplace that connects companies with Solvers who solve challenges or projects, paid, within two to four weeks. Through blackbear, companies can easily outsource tasks and projects at competitive prices. blackbear supports customers and Solvers throughout their entire user journey, providing a unique and user-friendly platform. Example customers include Salesforce, Heijmans, and T-Mobile.