Oferteo: Online Marketplace for a Wide Range of Services

Poland’s largest platform for selling services operates in a reverse marketplace model. It allows users to create a free ad with information about their needs. Then the potential contractors can buy a contact. In 2023, its revenue exceeded $10.5 million.

The company was founded in 2007 by three IT professionals from Lucas Bank. They decided to complement the offer of large sales sites like Allegro or Ceneo with a platform dedicated to services and goods. Especially those that cannot be priced before the transaction because they require the details to be fixed.

In Western markets, such services were already operating. In Poland, a Czech company had previously tried to popularize them but without success. Today, the best-known platforms of this type are Thumbtack.com and TaskRabbit (a portal owned by Ikea). The global leader, however, is not there because it is challenging to scale business internationally.

Nonetheless, the founders of Oferteo are seriously thinking about overseas expansion from a 1-2 year perspective. Most likely, this will be done through acquiring some entity with a customer base and access to a team familiar with the market.

How does it work?

The platform was launched in May 2008. Its users submitted an inquiry and left their contact, selecting one of 1,200 categories. Over time, a selection of services had to be made to focus on the most important ones. The ads were for various industries, but most often for construction and renovation. Rarer were those related to finance or transportation.

Posted on the platform, the offer is visible to everyone. But for any contractor to respond to it, he has to buy access to the contract, which costs a fraction of the value of the order. No more than 5-8 potential contractors are assigned to a single ad. The service makes the most money on extensive services.

To what extent is it profitable?

To date, Oferteo has handled over 9 million ads for over 600,000 companies. In 2023 – 1.85 million confirmed orders with $10.5 million in revenue (+43%). At the same time, net profit increased from $0.57 million to $2.1 million.

The company attracted its first investor – the Point Nine Capital fund – in 2011, when it invested $150,000 in the company for a 20% stake. Notably, the fund already had the online platforms Famous Doctor and KäuferPortal.de (now Aroundhome.de), the German equivalent of Oferteo. With access to their know-how, Oferto developed new categories with high-value orders for forklifts or construction machinery. Then, the company began working with major market players such as Toyota, Nissan, Still, and Nestle.

Today, Oferteo employs more than 250 people and is developing quietly. However, since the reverse marketplace is accelerating, it cannot slow down the pace of development – quite the contrary.

Read more about Oferteo here (in Polish).

Also, here, read about Displate, a global marketplace of metal posters from Poland.

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