First published in Adnews

The former managing director of MullenLowe Profero, Dave Bentley, has partnered with ex-Razorfish’s senior tech manager, Nick Stevens, to launch a start-up aimed at revolutionising the future of freelancing for the advertising industry.

Cavalry Freelancing is an online marketplace that matches projects with industry freelancers based on expertise, skills, availability, rates and reputation.

It also provides a management system, that helps companies source, book and invoice freelancers, as well as facilitate communication between freelancers in a bid to create a sense of community through its site.

Bentley, who left MullenLowe Profero in 2016, tells AdNews the idea was born out of decades working in the creative industry, including seven years at MullenLowe Profero, where he saw the demand for freelancers increase as agencies expanded their remit to match client demands.

While the demand was rising, agencies become more time poor and the systems in place were “complex, convoluted and stressful” to use, he says.

“The way we had to find freelancers was so complicated it struck me as a something that could be solved by a platform,” he says, adding that previously agencies had to rely on recruiters or referrals.

Calvary Freelancing already has 500 freelancers on board and 50 agencies, including R/GA, Lavender, One Green Bean, Leo Burnett, 303 Mullen Lowe, ikon, Edelman Digital and Weber Shandwick.

Cavalry has also formed a partnership with educational facility General Assembly and is open to other partnerships in the market.

“The pressure on agencies continues to intensify due to tighter budgets, talent shortages, requirements for greater diversity of skills, and a growing trend for flexible working environments. However, the current model for finding freelancers is broken. It’s fragmented, time consuming, costly and unreliable.

“The proliferations of channels and sophistication demanded requires a far greater number of experts than 10 years ago. The evolution and the changes are challenging for agencies, but they are beginning to realise they can’t do all things and outsource more skills.”

Bentley plans to run events and rely on social media to raise awareness of Calvary’s services.

He expects the business to have more than 1500 members by the end of year and has big plans, outlining his goal to launch in Asia next year.

So far, the business is self-funded but Bentley says it is in the process of going through its first round of investment.

You might also like

It’s now easier than ever to call in the Freelance Cavalry

December 4, 2017
By Dave Bentley, CEO

Earlier this year we set out to build a marketplace for the creative and digital industry that would make it easier for companies and freelancers to find each other and work together. As long term members of the industry we felt strongly that a combination of improved matching capabilities, streamlined process and reduced fees would help […]

Are you allocating enough time when sourcing different freelance disciplines?

December 4, 2018
By Dave Bentley, CEO

Have you ever felt compromised by time when sourcing a freelancer for a project? Or more to the point, have you ever not been compromised by time? While Cavalry can make the process of connecting and engaging with freelancers almost instantaneous, this connection point is only a fraction of the journey that a company goes through to source and hire their perfect freelancer. In reality, the process contains a bunch of steps including internal reviews, interviews, negotiations, reference checks, and ever present daily juggling of priorities. This all takes time. Time that may not be factored in… To help provide a realistic guide for companies, I reviewed our booking data and analysed how long it took from brief to booking based for different types of expertise and lengths of bookings.

Unify your freelance story into one beautiful sharable profile

July 23, 2018
By Dave Bentley, CEO

As a freelancer, your professional story has many equally important parts and is always evolving. Sharing this complete story can be the difference to winning your next gig. Yet for many their expertise, availability, gig history and portfolio live in multiple locations and is hard to share easily. As of today, you can create an […]