In a conversation with MediaNama today, Pradeep Gupta (PG), Chairman and MD of the CyberMedia Group said that there are two products that the company is developing around Dare, their entrepreneurship brand:

Business Exchange: The first marketplace will be a freelance exchange on the lines of Elance; “It was not initially in the plan,” said PG, “but this we’re building a sort of a digital marketplace, where people who are entrepreneurs and looking for certain services, and people who are providing those services can meet. For example, we did an article on outsourcing of marketing, and a number of people wrote in saying – ‘Hey, can you tell me a company who can take up my marketing. I’d like to outsource it.’ Similarly, there are companies who have written in saying they provide these services.”
Innovation Marketplace: Cybermedia will allow companies to offer a brief about their Intellectual Property, and allow buyers to license that IP.

The Business Exchange is expected to go live in Q3. I also asked PG about the revenue model for the markeplaces – he said they will charge a transaction fee for deals, much like other freelance marketplaces, though they’re yet to finalize the various payment slabs for different grades of accounts.

Marketplaces are far more efficient in connecting buyers and sellers:

Most marketplaces have targeted offshoring work – sites like ELance, Guru etc have a significant number Indian service providers; for a service provider, it’s a question of margins – where is he or she able to make more money for the same kind of work? Marketplaces also offer buyers and sellers transparent pricing, and a means for price discovery. Sellers are able to showcase their portfolio, and can be rated and reviewed by buyers. Payment is often controlled – via an Escrow account.

A buyer who lists a project adds money to the escrow account, which is released to the seller on project completion. This way, the seller is also guaranteed payment. Not all online marketplaces allow this facility, though. Some online marketplaces that have recently been launched in India:

Afaqs Freelance Exchange: Launched in March, the Afaqs Freelance Exchange connects companies with freelancers. Freelancers pay to host their portfolio – Rs. 600 per year for a Primary, Rs. 1200 for a Professional and a Rs. 2400 for a Firm account. Launched by BlogWorks, Pitchh connects organizations with agencies for advertising, public relations, marketing, below the line etc. The exchange is still new and hasn’t been monetized yet, but in such cases, usually the service provider (Agency) pays.
LimeExchange: Part of the LimeWire group, appears to target professionals for Audio Visual, Graphic Design, Software Development, Web Development, Writing and IT.

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