We talked to Mihai Sebastian Sararu, CEO of Lanceria on how they aim to solve freelancing ecosystem problems and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Mihai Sebastian Sararu: We had a few difficult moments, just like everyone else did, but we managed to get through those and come up with a novel project to offer people a better future despite the harsh times.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Lanceria.
Mihai Sebastian Sararu: I am 24 years old, and I worked as a freelance developer for a long time, thanks to my passion for all things IT and AI that dates back to my childhood years. While working as a freelancer, I would often encounter various frustrating issues, so I eventually decided to build an exceptional team and come up with a much better product. So this is how Lanceria came to be, named this way to highlight what is at its core: freelancing and AI, so it’s “lancer” plus “AI” spelled backward.
How does Lanceria innovate?
Mihai Sebastian Sararu: Our platform will be a next-generation freelancing marketplace based on blockchain and AI technology, where people can buy gigs in fiat and crypto as well. We will challenge the giants that are currently dominating the market, not just the ones based on blockchain technology.
What problems are we aiming to solve? Let’s start:
- High commissions. Most freelancing platforms charge the buyer up to 10% commission, slap a fee of up to 20% on the freelancer, and even take up to 20% from the tips. We know that running a freelancing platform comes with a lot of expenses (cloud services, hosting, and many more), so anyone who would say that they can come with absolutely no commissions is just lying. Our commissions would be between $1 and $5 on fiat and 2% on crypto for buyers, and freelancers are free from commissions; they’ll get 100% of their reimbursement. For example, if you want to hire a freelancer for $2,000, you will pay at least an extra $100 in fees on most available platforms, and the freelancer will be charged up to $200. In our case, you will only pay $5, and the freelancer will get their full payment of $2,000.
- Delayed payments. In most cases, a freelancer has to wait between one and four weeks until they get the money for the completed gig. On our platform, if the freelancer asks for crypto, they will receive the payment in just 30 minutes, and in fiat, payment processing will take up to 1 week.
- Inexistent tracking system. From experience, this happens with every other buyer: they do not like the submitted work, so they ask the freelancer to redo it from scratch, threatening to seek a reclaim otherwise. We’ll have a tracking system where the freelancer has to put out samples at different project stages, so the buyer can say if they are happy with the freelancer’s work. The buyer and the freelancer will be able to discuss progress in a temporary chat room or a video call, with a screen sharing option.
- Lack of freelancer onboarding. If you are new to freelancing, it can be hard to get by. It can take you up to 6 months, or even a year, to land your first gig. We’ll come up with a mentorship system where new freelancers can join a team run by an experienced one for one year. The mentors can pass on their gigs to their teams and earn a 5% commission on payments. This way, experienced freelancers can get up to 700% more gigs than they usually would, as they now have more hands-on-deck, and the less experienced freelancers get a chance to start building up their portfolios fast.
Our first MVP will come in like 3 months after listing.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Mihai Sebastian Sararu: Our MVP hasn’t yet arrived, but during the pandemic, many people turned to freelancing, looking to work from home on a schedule that they can plan out themselves. We can say that the freelancing ecosystem can grow up to 10 times more, and it’s still only at the beginning of its expansion.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Mihai Sebastian Sararu: We didn’t have to make any difficult choices regarding human resources because we already know each other. We are more like a group of friends, not employers and employees. We have the same goal, to give everyone a better place to look for work and a bigger income.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Mihai Sebastian Sararu: Right now, we’re still developing our platform, but we’re going to come up with a more advanced solution than any other freelancing marketplace.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Mihai Sebastian Sararu: We didn’t get to benefit from any government grants. We started on our own.
Your final thoughts?
Mihai Sebastian Sararu: We can’t wait to unveil the best product within the freelancing ecosystem, where people will be able to find new gigs with ease and get paid in full for their work. Our main goal isn’t the number of gigs, and we aim to be known for offering the best customer experience on the market. We take pride in our community and hope that it will grow fast; those looking to join in can find us at lanceria.io. We are the Lancerians, the digital knights, and we are ready to fight for monetary rights!
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