Japanese crowdsourcing company Crowd Works Inc. saw net sales increase 15.5% year-on-year to Y4.9 billion ($45.7 million U.S.) for the first half of the fiscal year, which ended March 31.

Crowd Works’s matching business, which connects job-seekers with companies looking for staff, saw sales grow 31% to Y3.1 billion. The segment’s losses continued to climb, however, reaching Y72.1 million. The increase was attributed to growing personnel expenses, TV ads spending, and outsourcing expenses associated with the expansion of the sales team.

The company ramped up promotional expenses to increase the number of clients and improve the ordering unit price per client. In Q2 alone, advertising costs stood at Y105 million. However, this translated to additional businesses — the matching business saw total contract values rose 21% year-on-year to Y6.3 billion in the first half of 2020.

Losses were up across the board — net losses increased to Y69.7 million from Y39.6 million due to expenses related to corporate branding.

Founded in 2011, Tokyo-based Crowd Works’ core businesses include freelancer marketplace CrowdWorks.jp and CrowdTech.jp, a career-support service for freelance engineers and designers.

The group said it would continue to invest in its matching business in order to improve its growth rate, and maximize medium and long-term profits.

“There will be sufficient returns in unit economics in a two-year period and (we) intend to carry out investment targeted to long-term growth for this reason,” it wrote in its financial report.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had both pros and cons for the company. Client registrations have already increased around 15% due to growing demand for remote workers and gig workers. However, overall contract value is expected to decline due to a reduction in hiring caused by coronavirus-related economic contraction.

In this year’s Recruitment Marketplaces Annual, CrowdWorks was ranked No. 7 globally.



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