Guru Inc. was founded in 1999 in San Francisco as an online clearing house for high tech workers seeking short-term contracts. Guru, led by brothers Jon and James Slavet, raised $3M in angel funding and a further $16M in a full venture round led by Greylock Partners and August Capital. Today Guru helps connect businesses and employees in 160 different fields.
Guru has a global pool of over 1.5 million freelancers also known as "Gurus" ready to help businesses with technical, creative or business projects. Guru offers a payment protection guarantee. Meaning businesses pay Guru and Guru disperses the finances to the respective Gurus. Funds can be sent by Guru through PayPal, credit card, e-check, or wire transfer. IN addition Guru will handle the 1099 filings and foreign exchange translations. As an added bonus Guru has created "loyalty dollars" which help businesses collect up to 2% cash back when paying with check, e-check, or wire transfer.
Guru offers over 220 categories and easy steps for finding and hiring the perfect freelancer. To make things even easier, Guru offers collaborative tools, a dynamic dashboard, and private work rooms.
- Receiving work
- Payment issues
- Disappearing freelancers
There are three main complaints from users of Guru.com:
1. New freelancers often complain about not receiving job postings or work. They often ask, "how do I get a job, or why don't I get work?" but when you look at their profile it's completely blank. That shows they just registered and started writing proposals.
2. There are dozens if not hundreds of stories from freelancers upset about completing projects or work and then getting 'stiffed' on payment. Guru.com has set up hedges against issues like this in the form of milestones and escrow accounts. Freelancers should be aware that not all employers are truthful, so be careful during projects.
3. There are stories from employers about paying freelancers hundreds of dollars and then the freelancers disappear. Fund escrow or each milestone as they come up. Only release escrow when the job is completed per each milestone or entire project, and you are satisfied with the completed results. Once you release funds from escrow those funds are gone, you, nor Guru can get them back, unless from the goodness of their heart, the freelancer will give them back to you, And that is not going to happen.
The Bottom Line
Guru.com has a solid base of freelancers and employers which means anyone signing up will be in good company. Keep in mind the 20% bill rate fee is higher than other freelance platforms. We recommend Guru to those looking for technical online work. Remember to setup projects prudently and take time to learn the Guru interface.