Online learning company CreativeLive acquired by Israel-based Fiverr, a marketplace for freelancers - Start Up Gazzete
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Online learning company CreativeLive acquired by Israel-based Fiverr, a marketplace for freelancers


CreativeLive, the Seattle-based online learning company founded in 2010, has been acquired by Fiverr, a platform that connects businesses with freelancers offering a variety of digital services.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. CreativeLive will remain an independent organization and founder and CEO Chase Jarvis will continue to lead the current team of 25 employees.

CreativeLive has more than 10 million students around the world, participating online with live and prerecorded classes in photography, video, design, music, crafts and entrepreneurship taught by Pulitzers, Grammys and Oscars winners along with authors and leaders from best-selling opinion.

The acquisition positions CreativeLive to leverage Fiverr’s resources and expertise in the space and better target freelancers looking to enhance their skills.

Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman said the acquisition fits with her company’s mission of supporting “the entire independent lifestyle, and that includes education and professional training.”

“The ability to acquire new skills in a rapidly changing work environment and then be able to monetize them is part of Fiverr’s role in leading the transformation for buyers and sellers on our platform,” Kaufman said in a statement.

Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Fiverr is 11 years old with offices in New York, San Francisco and elsewhere. The company of roughly 1,000 employees went public in 2019 and reported second-quarter revenue of $ 75.3 million in August, an increase of 60% year-over-year.

In the 12-month period ending June 30, Fiverr said 4 million customers purchased services in its market.

Jarvis, a professional photographer, co-founded CreativeLive with Craig Swanson 11 years ago. Swanson left in 2015, and Jarvis told GeekWire this week how the startup finally came to be acquired.


“I could imagine, from day one, an outcome where we can become part of something bigger than ourselves that is really well aligned from a mission and vision point of view, from the community we want to serve and the impact we want to have on the world, “Jarvis said. “We found that on Fiverr.”

CreativeLive has raised nearly $ 60 million to date, including a $ 25 million round that closed in May 2017. Investors include Greylock Partners; Social capital; GSV acceleration; and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.

The company, which once employed more than 100 people, cut an undisclosed number of employees in 2018 as it sought to be profitable. Jarvis said Wednesday that CreativeLive currently employs about 25 people, in addition to about 10 contractors nationwide.

“He had a vision to make the company profitable and get off the risky treadmill,” Jarvis said. “Part of that process of being profitable was being very lean and very focused on serving the community we wanted to serve.”

Fiverr has also had experience serving that community with its own online learning platform called Fiverr Learn. It will fold to CreativeLive.

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of online learning, helping CreativeLive increase its subscription revenue. The company competes against a flurry of competitors in the larger online education industry, including Coursera, MasterClass, Udacity, and others.

In addition to directing CreativeLive, Jarvis also has his own show, Chase Jarvis Live, and is a podcaster. He previously partnered with Apple for a collaboration called Photo Lab. Jarvis was an early champion of smartphone photography with his 2009 book, The Best Camera, and an app of the same name that pioneered Instagram.

When asked if he would add a “How to Acquire Your Startup” video to CreativeLive, Jarvis laughed.

“It would be a long lesson,” he said, adding: “There is a narrative meta here, which is, we are products of building something from scratch, and that is the same universe that we are helping in turn.”

Author avatar
Joshua Smith

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