Services marketplace Bark announces expansion plans

24 Mar 2020

From left: Bark founder and CEO Kai Feller, and PR consultant Nick Hewer. Image: Bark

Bark already operates in Ireland, the UK, US, Canada and South Africa, but is set to expand its services marketplace to New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.

Today (24 March), UK-headquartered services marketplace Bark announced its plans to expand into New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, growing its global presence into eight markets.

The start-up, which was founded in 2015, also operates in Ireland, Canada, South Africa and the US.

Bark aims to connect consumers and businesses with the right professionals for their project in more than 1,000 categories, from web design to gardening. In a statement, the company said that it doubled its turnover in 2019 to £20m, while growing its headcount to support demand.

With the new expansion, the start-up will open its first office outside of the UK. Prior to this move, Bark’s international markets were managed from its London HQ, but the company will now open an office in Australia.

The gig economy

Bark’s CEO and founder is 28-year-old Kai Feller, who previously founded the app Socialite.

In a statement, Feller said: “We’ve seen tremendous growth since launching in 2015 and that there is a wealth of opportunity for services that we are looking to unlock across each of these new markets.”

The company said that in Australia there is a new opportunity for remote services to “live online” due to the impact that the gig economy has had on that market. Gartner recently found that 40pc of CEOs in Australia plan on outsourcing roles and responsibilities to freelancers in the contingent workforce.

Bark added: “In New Zealand, demand for highly skilled workers is forecast to grow faster than overall jobs over the next three years. Across the country, the need for services is increasing across a number of skilled jobs, including legal professionals, architects and electricians.

“Singapore opens up huge opportunity through its B2C-driven market and sharing economy, but also the growth of online B2B marketplaces.”

The company said that its mission is to “build the Amazon of services and to champion small businesses”.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic