When Tech Goes to Market: Platform Vendor Creates Marketplace

Now that Linked-in has quietly rolled out its translation-ready freelancer marketplace, TMS and CAT platform vendor Across Systems is set to follow. In what is a move far beyond its previous business model, the German-based company looks to leverage its sizeable pool of end-clients, language service providers (LSPs), and freelancers and work all of them into a managed marketplace branded crossMarket. The platform will connect freelancers to LSPs to clients in an UpWork-like fashion, only dedicated to translation and localization projects.

LinkedIn’s own ProFinder, its freelancer-slash-independent contractor marketplace attempt, includes “translation” as an available category. While not necessarily competing with Across (as crossMarket is exclusive to Across users), there is a conceptual overlap in terms of work intermediation and profile matching for end-clients and independent contractors.

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Across Head of Marketing Tanja Wendling told Slator that the company will be launching crossMarket soon by inviting all the participants in its tech ecosystem – from end-clients to LSPs to freelancers. The company will not take a cut from transactions facilitated on the platform but instead try to monetize crossMarket through a freemium basic model with paid premium options for both LSPs and freelancers. Pricing for the coveted end-clients will the same as for the freelancers.

The model for end-clients and freelancers is simple enough: it is practically a work intermediation and profile matching network. For LSPs, however, the value may not be as clear-cut. One key concern for LSPs could be that they might not want to see their cherished clients, which took years to develop and were sold on the Across expertise of the LSP, suddenly get access to hundreds of carefully curated competitors. Wendling did inform Slator that Across ran the crossMarket concept through three separate advisory panels for end-clients, freelancers, and LSPs and got little pushback. But it remains to be seen how this pans out once the market goes live and end-clients go about sourcing.

Florian Faes

Co-Founder of Slator. Linguist, business developer, and mountain runner. Based in the Shire, aka Zurich, Switzerland.