Spera , a cloud-based management platform for freelancers, recently announced its launch, in beta.
Unlike freelance marketplaces such as UpWork , Freelancer.com or Fiverr , Spera enables the one-third of the U.S. workforce  who identify as members of the freelance community (some 54 million people) to manage their business using tools such as invoicing and payment, task and workflow management and collaboration.
Each of the tools resides inside a single dashboard, relieving the person of the need to utilize a blend from different vendors.
“We’re helping the growing movement of self-reliant, creative and ambitious women and men of all ages … who’ve declared independence from the traditional corporate world,” said Greg Pesci, Spera founder and CEO in the announcement. “Spera exists to help them manage their business better so they can take advantage of the freedom that comes with freelancing.”
How Spera Helps You Manage Your Freelance Business
Spera brings the functionality of business management and productivity platforms such as Basecamp and Freshbooks under one roof.
It offers the following toolset:
- Project management. Users can view open projects, monitor progress, manage others and track goals;
- Client management. Freelancers can keep track of projects for current, former and potential clients, and allow them to communicate with the freelancer through the platform;
- Payment processing. According to Pesci, who spoke with Small Business Trends via telephone, the platform enables users to become “merchants,” offering a variety of payment options to clients, including checks, credit cards and ACH;
- Invoice creation. The project management component can integrate with an invoicing capability to allow seamless, customizable invoice creation;
- Mobile device use. Spera’s platform works on mobile devices, enabling anywhere, anytime access;
- Access to financing. Pesci, who comes from the payments industry, said that Spera has formed a relationship with Kabbage and is in talks with other lenders, to provide freelancers with access to financing.
With the marked growth in freelancing, Pesci saw an opportunity to fill a marketable niche. No management platform existed that addressed the needs of freelancers specifically.
In developing Spera, Pesci said that the company used a “crowd launch” approach that consisted of a year of in-depth interviews (120 in all), the use of surveys and shadowing of freelancers.
“To build the product, we observed their workflow systems, daily challenges and opportunities,” he said. “Their input provided us with a roadmap for development.”
Spera operates on a subscription model and charges users $15 per month. The company is currently offering a 30-day free trial, to give those interested time to test the product.
For more information or to sign up for the free trial, visit Spera.io .