Freelancer has appointed Kyri Theos, former Australia country manager at Upwork, as its new regional director for Asia Pacific. He has been given the task of solidifying Freelancer’s position in Australia and guiding its expansion across the Asia Pacific region.
Theos is taking over from Pete Cooper, who was appointed regional director for Australasia last November as part of Freelancer’s acquisition of SydStart before leaving his post earlier this year.
Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer, said the appointment of Theos highlights the company’s commitment to the region.
“We believe the Australian market and the Asia-Pacific region must be a key focus for any serious technology company, and we’re thrilled to welcome Australian talent back into an Australian business,” he said.
Theos, who is well-versed in the ins and outs of the freelancing market through his time at Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk), Freelancer’s biggest competitor, has also worked at Rocket Internet and Deloitte. He said he’s now looking forward to contributing to a company “positioned at the crest of the technology boom.”
“It’s great to see an Australian technology company leading its industry. Freelancer.com is breaking down barriers for small businesses and startups, allowing them to access world class talent on demand,” he said.
Australia is the biggest market for online work outside the United States. Freelancer reports that there are now over 100,000 Australian businesses registered on its platform, with almost a quarter of these coming on board in the last 12 months alone. Over this same period, Australian businesses posted 96,500 projects, spending $9 million across various skill sets:
The company also reports that its fastest growth is coming from regional centres:
Theos said, “Freelancer.com is empowering entrepreneurs in towns and regions that would otherwise be disadvantaged by limited access to specialised skills relative to urban centres…we see technology enabling entrepreneurship and innovation in rural Australia.”