July 19, 2010, 2:30 PM

An acquisition launches Freelancer.com into online retailing

Freelancer.com has purchased Freemarket.com and will use it to sell digital goods to businesses.

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Freelancer.com, which provides a marketplace for freelance workers, has purchased startup Freemarket.com and launched it as an online source of digital content for small businesses.

"This is a giant step for us," says Matt Barrie, CEO of Australia-based Freelancer.com. “Freemarket.com essentially doubles the options a small business person has for getting things done online. For example, a small business might choose to purchase a web site template from Freemarket.com and have it customized by a freelancer from Freelancer.com.”

Freemarket.com will offer such digital content as stock logos, web site templates, stationery, images, sounds clips and three-dimensional models, Freelancer.com says. Freemarket.com has been operating in beta mode for a few weeks, and during that time more than 5,000 items have been uploaded, according to Freelancer.com.

The company cites an estimate by investment bank Piper Jaffray that $6 billion in virtual goods will be bought online by 2013, of which $2.5 billion will be purchased by U.S. buyers.

Freelancer.com did not disclose the purchase price for Freemarket.com.

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