If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then small services marketplace Fiverr International Ltd. is a resounding success. “Globes” has named Fiverr as Israel’s most promising start-up for 2012.
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Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman and CTO Shai Wininger founded the company in 2009. It provides a social e-commerce market place for users to buy and sell services for $5 and up. Fiverr charges a $1 commission on every transaction. Freelancers offer graphic design, translations, business consultancy and other services ranging from writing songs and resumes to horse betting tips and gigs of almost any kind.
Three years later, Fiverr is a success story, offering more than one million services. Many companies have attempted to duplicate its business model and copy its design. Many websites have appeared, some of which have even plagiarized its slogan “Buy. Sell. Have Fun.” Other sites have imitated its spelling, such as Fourerr, Sixerr, and Eighterr, and set fees on this basis ($4 by Fourerr, for example). Israeli imitators include Smalljob, 20s, and Gigim, launched by Zap Ltd. earlier this year.
“This is something that happens to involve a lot of illegality,” CEO Kaufman tells Globes. “There is room for legal action, and Fiverr is dealing with things in its own way, but it’s just background noise as far as I am concerned. We don’t sit around from morning to night just thinking about our imitators. Besides, the site’s homepage is only a very tiny part of what goes on behind the scenes.
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Photo by Fiverr