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Human cloud revenue up 65% last year: SIA report

July 03, 2018

Despite fewer startups than a few years ago, human cloud revenue nearly doubled last year, primarily due to continued surges by some of the largest providers, according to “The Gig Economy and Human Cloud Landscape: 2018 Update” released by Staffing Industry Analysts. Revenue in the human cloud — a sub-segment of the gig economy that includes firms that match workers to work through an online/digital platform —  grew approximately 65% in 2017.

Firms processed $82.4 billion in spend associated with the human cloud on a global basis.

Human cloud companies that primarily sell to consumers — such as Uber, Lyft, Handy, Ele.me and Instacart — drove the increase, accounting for an estimated $76.0 billion, or 90% of human cloud spend. Revenue in the business-to-business segment of the human cloud rose by 19% year over year in 2017 to $6.4 billion.

“The human cloud is an important part of the workforce solutions ecosystem, and where we see a lot of digital innovation and growth,” said SIA Research Manager David Francis, author of the report. “Though human cloud revenue, particularly that of firms focused on the B2B space, is still a fraction of staffing revenue, it’s important for firms across the ecosystem to keep up with developments in this evolving space, or risk waking up one day wondering where all their candidates went.”

The report noted that the number of start-ups appears to be leveling off, however, the proportion of new human cloud companies that focus on onsite business-to-business work categories is increasing. Of the firms on SIA’s radar that launched since 2015, a majority specialize in onsite work, with most selling primarily to businesses.

Most B2B human cloud companies, while internet technology companies, are also talent suppliers. Seeming hybrid models, such as just-in-time staffing, have thinned the line between online staffing and traditional temporary staffing. Additionally, some consulting firms and traditional staffing firms have built their own human cloud applications.

Corporate members can download The Gig Economy and Human Cloud Landscape: 2018 Update report online.

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