Freelancer management system WorkMarket was acquired Jan. 19 by ADP, a large provider of paycheck processing, PEO and other services, in a deal that indicates investors expect to see growth in the nontraditional workforce.
Founded in 2010, WorkMarket is headquartered in New York City and backed by venture firms including Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital; it raised $25 million in April 2017 from Accenture and Foundry Group. The deal comes almost six months after WorkMarket itself acquired freelancer management system provider OnForce from The Adecco Group.
Freelancer management systems are online platforms that enable staffing buyers to initiate, manage, track and analyze engagements with individual independent workers, according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ lexicon.
This acquisition is a good sign for the workforce solutions industry as a whole, said Bryan Peña, CCWP, SIA’s senior VP of contingent workforce strategies. “It’s no secret that venture capital has been attacking the space aggressively,” Peña said. “This is further indication of the growth the markets are expecting in more nontraditional talent engagement models.”
“At ADP, we innovate by anticipating how the world of work evolves and how dynamics — like the rise of the gig economy — impact the needs of our clients and the modern workforce,” said Carlos Rodriguez, CEO of ADP. “WorkMarket allows us to provide ready access to a growing contingent labor pool and the tools to manage and pay them in a secure, efficient and compliant manner.”
WorkMarket CEO Stephen DeWitt and President Jeff Wald will remain as senior VPs with the rebranded WorkMarket, an ADP Company.
The acquisition also follows a proxy battle in which activist investor Bill Ackman ultimately lost a bid to place several of his own picks on ADP’s board.