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One2One Group

LinkdPro completes projects worth R2.5m on its freelance marketplace

Members who have used LinkdPro, a South African digital platform for consultants looking for contract and project-based work, have completed projects worth more than R2.5-million in the almost year since its launch, says co-founder and CEO Scelo Makhathini.

“We are seeing a growing demand for industry sector experts and management consultants as investment and private equity firms look to these professionals to help assess investment opportunities and up-scale or create value-add teams on-demand,” Makhathini (pictured above, left) told Ventureburn.

Makhathini, who refers to the platform as the “Uber for consulting”, added that since the platform’s launch in August last year the site’s 600 members have generated a combined revenue in excess of R500 000.

Over 30 local SMEs, JSE-listed firms and a multinational company use the platform, said Makhathini, while the company also has clients in Nigeria and Mozambique.

The company currently charges consultants who get work through the platform a 20% commission.

Launched in August 2016, LinkdPro says it has 600 consultants signed up

Makathini said the company is looking to raise R20-million which would be used in marketing and platform enhancements and has so far been approached by three investors.

While he did not want to reveal who these investors are, he said one is a based in South Africa with a strong presence in the US.

“We envisage that the funding round will involve parting with equity in the business in return for the funding to be raised,” he said.

He said prospective consultants can interact on the platform using a secure and private dashboard where they are able to set up profiles, view projects they have been matched to and apply for available projects.

Clients can post projects onto the platform anonymously. Consultants are only able see project details and not the actual client names posting the project.

“Our platform has been designed with the Protection of Personal Information Act in mind, so we really cover all angles,” said Makhathini.

How does it all work?

The platform uses an algorithm which matches consultants to clients’ projects.

“Our algorithms use robust big-data and machine-learning computer technologies to automatically match consultants based on the project briefs posted by clients using matching criteria such as consultant’s skills set, experience, past projects of a similar nature executed, location, availability and charge-out rate.”

In an interview with Ventureburn, chartered accountant Sihle Shelembe said although he had received three different opportunities on the platform, he had chosen only to take up one of these – in June. He is currently still working on the project.

“It is like sub-contracting on behalf of LinkdPro, they handle the day-to-day management of the relationship with the client,” he said.

However another user Rudzani Mulaudzi, a management consultant with five-years’ experience, reckons the algorithm and user interface could be improved. He did not elaborate on why he believed this was so.

Featured image: LinkdPro founding team (from left to right): Scelo Makhathini – CEO, Lerato Manaka – Head of Business Development, Eugene De Beer – CTO (Supplied)