Nigerian startup Proville has built a user base of over 2,500 high-skilled freelancers, all using its end-to-end platform to find work, manage their projects and receive payments.
Launched in May of last year, Proville is an online services marketplace for professionals, bridging the gap between self-employed web and mobile developers, sales and marketing professionals, writers, accountants, designers and creatives, and their clients.
The platform allows clients to search and view relevant professionals, or post a job, and hire a freelancer. All parties can then use the Proville web platform and mobile app to chat, share files, and collaborate, while invoicing and payments also happen through the platform using its escrow model.
Chief operating officer (COO) Adeshina Adewumi told Disrupt Africa the founding team had spotted a gap between demand and supply when it came to professional services, coupled with high rates of unemployment and underemployment in Nigeria and Africa.
“There was a need to create a trusted platform to bridge the gap and connect clients with verified and trusted professionals within the African space,” he said.
Angel-funded to the tune of US$300,000, and charging a 10 per cent commission on every transaction made through the platform, Proville has rapidly built a user base of over 2,500. Adewumi said the startup was proud of this given the challenges it has faced along the way.
“Starting and championing a new solution such as ours in Africa is daunting, especially in Nigeria, where trust is still a great challenge. We have however experienced repeat business from those who have used our platform to engage professional services in Nigeria,” he said.
Nigeria is where Proville has focused most of its marketing efforts thus far, but the startup does have wider goals.
“Our expansion plans is to spread across 10 African countries over the next 18 months with the necessary investment and collaborations in place,” said Adewumi.