Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer.com and Escrow.com, has walked a successful entrepreneurial path from hardware to software. Escrow.com, which Freelancer.com acquired in November 2015, has processed over $2 billion in transactions. Barrie took the main stage to deliver the final keynote of NamesCon 2016 to share some of what his teams have learned about this industry over the years.
Escrow.com is the world's number-one provider of secure escrow transactions, said Barrie: "By that I mean 'truly secure'." He added, "You wouldn't sell your car with PayPal." Even eBay, which owns PayPal, uses Escrow.com for its auto sales.
In 2015, Escrow.com moved $240 million in transactions. Barrie presented a short animation showing how buyers and sellers took up the service around the world, clustering in the US and Europe at first, but then growing into Australia and Asia. It was a visualization of the decentralized nature of how we structure our lives.
Around two-thirds of Escrow.com's users are based in the US. "It's the place where the Internet is bought and sold," said Barrie regarding the company's presence in domain-name transactions. The average undeveloped domain name keeps growing in value year over year, said Barrie, noting that shorter domains are more valuable.("I'm really into data," said NamesCon co-founder Jothan Frakes, who was quite excited to see some of these projections.)
The rise of China, Barrie said, is the main reason for the growth in value of four-letter domain names; this was echoed in Pat Kane's talk. To that end, Escrow.com is adding Chinese-language support.
The quickest way to increase the value of your portfolio, said Barrie, is to develop your domain names: "In 2015, there was an 8% or 9% difference." He suggested, "If you got a domain name and don't know what to do with it, you can just drop a logo onto it" so it looks more alive.
Freelancer.com, said Barrie, "Is really an eBay for jobs." The real power of the platform lies in expanding an entrepreneur's reach to international markets. 60% of jobs posted on Freelancer get a bid within one minute, he added. "It's exploded," he said, in terms of growth. The projects range from simple web design to full-on megascience: NASA and Freelancer are teaming up to build a robotic astronaut.
Escrow.com supports Domain Name Holding, which allows you to lease your domains and receive regular payments. "We're building out the API in a really robust manner," said Barrie. You can use the domain service to build Domain Parking Pages with calls to action such as Buy It Now, and get them designed cheaply via Freelancer. "I've seen landing pages go as cheaply as $50," said Barrie.
Escrow.com is offering free recruiter upgrades for NamesCon attendees: they're at Booth #1. Also, include "Happy NamesCon" in your transaction description and get a free T-shirt.
Keep Up with NamesCon
Well, this week flew by: long days and huge nights spent connecting with old colleagues and new friends. It's fantastic to get everyone on the same florid carpet to share insights, data, and strategies. Stay in touch with us through our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds, and make sure to check back in on the blog as NamesCon 2016.