While many businesses have struggled to stay afloat over the last six-months, here at tech freelancers platform Comet, or as we say An agile workforce for the digital age we have been pleasantly surprised and yes, massively relieved to see continual growth despite the dark days of 2020. While it could be easy to put this down to the relatively light blow suffered by the tech industry—reports are showing that the sector was one of the least impacted—compared to the devastation done to hospitality, automotive or airlines, to just name a few. At Comet we argue it’s been a long road of adaptation and continual learning that has allowed us to blossom in the storm.
From restaurants to education, Darwin’s words ring true: it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself. And while we here at Comet haven’t been serving up our freelancers in take out containers, we’ve weathered the storm by continually adapting to not only our business model and clients' changing flux of needs but also those of our in-house team.
McKinsey suggests that in order to come back stronger, companies should reimagine their business model as they return to full speed, by rapidly recovering revenue, rebuilding operations and rethinking the organization. Advice that strongly resonates in our Paris-based offices and across our remote teams, still strongly set on bringing satisfaction back into the workplace, through the opportunities and choice offered by freelancing.
We recorded a year-on-year rise in net revenue over 101% in 2020, and a steady increase in gross services volume at a rate of over +152%, and with a 30-month future cash flow secured ahead of us, we’re confident about our ambitious roadmap. Yet the implication of these figures is about much more than winning numbers. It’s helped increase our confidence in building strategy based heavily on revenue generation, a perspective that has brought us closer to deeply understanding our client’s real needs. Beyond adapting to the rocky terrain of the pandemic workplace, using revenue as the key KPI over the last semester has helped the company shift mindset to an enterprise player with a viable business model and away from a startup funded by investors. “It’s a simple change in attitude that has pushed us further into a competitive dynamic and brought us closer to our clients. Gratitude around money has been simple and helped us get our feet more solidly on the ground. Over the last 6 months we have gone from ideals to concrete, and more recently into concrete pegged strongly on our ideals,” explains Comet founder and ceo Charles Thomas.
While the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been lesser than feared for Comet, as Gartner puts it “COVID-19 actually brings the future forward”, and here at Comet, like for many others, we have had to test an imagined future —in the immediate present, and not just for our own business but for all the clients for whom they provide a IT and data workforce. Take remote working for example; a standard practice both at Comet and with freelancers in general. The sudden amp up of this Modus operandi has seen us optimising processes and communication at double speed. “Being able to change tack, adapt, constantly improve, question and repeat is how Comet was built. It was a skill set that kept us steady earlier this year and one we aim to hone further in the future,” elaborates Charles. This agility has also been embraced at the team level, as several team members seized the moment to take a different route, charged by a desire for a different lifestyle or to welcome a new life. While the departed team members will be surely missed, a seamless process allowed for this moment to become an opportunity to recruit new faces and extend certain teams, embracing a more international and eclectic team according to a new set of priorities.
In the past we have been dubious about framing our activity in purely commercial terms. Pushed forward by the newly competitive landscape revealed by Covid-19, we have consolidated a vision that incorporates and celebrates the growth we are experiencing with the unwavering objective of creating a joyous work experience through freelancing. Within the current shifting business landscape, the concept of creating shared value, wherein the competitiveness of a company and the health of the communities around it are mutually dependent, has taken on new relevance. Working in alignment with this shared-value model, Comet has found the framing that allows us to seize the abundance of business opportunities presented on the current market for data and IT freelancers, while drawing even closer to our vision of creating a better world of work though freelancing. Where freelancers benefit from the choice and conditions to bring their best game; our clients benefit from having the best talent qualified and available when they need it, thus allowing Comet to extend our competitive advantage and to become a future leader in the European market.
To confront today's digitally-disrupted global marketplace and cater to the hyper-connected consumer of tomorrow, true agility is required. Technology alone is not enough, it is through the human that real transformation can be sustained. Comet’s freelance talent community comes highly motivated, because they choose the projects on which they work.
Powered by AI in order to intelligently detect, qualify and match a contingent workforce with corporate projects, we are trusted by leading companies such as Renault, LVMH, Société Générale, BNP, Payfit and Allianz, and have been recognized by Gartner Inc. as a 2019 Cool Vendor. Our agile workforce comprises thousands of qualified experts who are available on-demand and risk-free, within 24 hours.
The technology is available and the consumer is ready. Comet provides the missing part: the people.