In the “LinkedIn era”, in which companies and skilled professionals have a direct communication channel, the Brazilian startup BossaBox wants to take this approach to a whole new level. Focused on the digital market, BossaBox has built a platform to connect companies and tech workers more directly. The startup promises skilled labor at a low cost, following the entire negotiation and hiring process from beginning to end.
Operating since 2017, the startup has already worked with companies such as Ipiranga, Hering, and Omo. According to André Abreu, BossaBox’s CEO and founder, the business idea came up from a very specific market issue: there is a huge offer of technology labor, but few skilled workers. “The market is very large, and also very inefficient. In 2019, 72% of digital products have failed, according to a Harvard Business Review survey. There is a lot of demand for technology, but the market is still inefficient. We address a very large market problem with a value proposition that makes sense,” Abreu said in an interview with LABS.
With this proposal, BossaBox connects companies with paused or delayed projects with the ideal labor force to meet their needs. According to Abreu, when the tech market seems scarce, the startup brings in teams of freelance professionals who work on-demand. Today, there are already more than 25,000 workers registered on the platform, from developers to product designers.
BossaBox was born inspired by the Silicon Valley method. Abreu said that he observed how big companies work in the world’s main tech hub and reproduced what he learned to serve partner companies. “Today, we work with the so-called Squad as a Service model. We don’t focus on a project or its conclusion only, but on finding the right team for the client. We propose quarterly or annual contracts with the companies, with the possibility of automatic renewal, and the workers are paid per job, with payment every 15 days. We transfer part of the revenue received from the company to these professionals.”
BossaBox does not reveal its operating costs, but Abreu ensures that the startup optimizes the hiring and labor allocation processes to minimize customer spending. “We have a lean cost consultancy because we don’t have substantial internal costs. As a result, we are able to operate at a lower price than other players in the market, while maintaining high quality in the service,” he said.
So far, the business model seems to be going just fine. According to the startup, between 2017 and 2020, revenue jumped from BRL 50,000 to BRL 8.5 million; in 2021, BossaBox grew by 96%, and the customer base increased by 67%. Recently, the company secured a $1.5 million round from Astella Investimentos, an extension of a previous investment made in 2020, of BRL 8 million. Venture capital firm Redpoint Eventures followed both rounds.
With the funds, the company will invest in its own team to improve its internal operations, increasing from the current 40 employees to 80 by the end of the year. There are also plans to go international, focusing mainly on the United States market. “The US market is very large, with good competitors, so it will be a very good battle. Their digital market is more mature than ours. There is a greater demand for technology, but there is also a greater willingness to accept novelties. The competition will be fierce, but we will find more opportunities,” said Abreu.
The entrepreneur added that the approach between companies and freelancers is essential for the future of work, given the trend of no longer having long-term job contracts in the technology industry, with professionals working under short contracts, specific to one project or another.