Cavalry Freelancing, APAC’s leading talent platform for advertising and digital professionals, today announced a merger and rebrand in the next stage of its evolution.
The Sydney-based platform has merged with global content production and technology powerhouse &FRIENDS, heralding a new era in creative talent management and content production.
In contrast to other industry platform players, &FRIENDS is more than just a talent marketplace or production house platform. It enables agencies and businesses to tap into a global community of world-class makers, creating on-the-ground teams in any market – while blending existing talent pools and in-house resources – all in one place.
The move from Cavalry to &FRIENDS harnesses the impressive heritage of both brands. Combining global plug-and-play production teams with a technology solution that enables companies to instantly manage talent. Future-proofing creative resource planning, at a time when the industry desperately is desperately seeking talent
Powered by community, connected by technology, it’s an approach that &FRIENDS has dubbed ‘FlexSourcing’– blending the best of in-housing, outsourcing and agency servicing. Shaped around real business needs, &FRIENDS has already sparked interest from a roster of impressive clients – not to mention investors.
Having already secured an impressive $1.8 million AUD in funding, the new platform officially launches across APAC, EMEA and the US at the end of April. Current Cavalry gm, Rich Barlow, will continue to lead the APAC operations, while CEO Dave Bentley moves into a global role as co-CEO.
The move by Cavalry comes at a time of huge change in the creative industry, with almost all industry sectors experiencing a crippling shortage of global talent. This, at a time when market conditions are forcing companies to become more agile to achieve more output, to the same standard, with the same or fewer resources.
&FRIENDS is a simple solution to this complex problem. A sophisticated SaaS offering using the power of community, connected and managed using technology – overseen and supported by experienced industry people. Custom-built, from the ground up, the TEAM+ (Team Expansion And Management +) platform supports both current and future creative talent needs, with one simple tool.
Discussing the move, Cavalry co-founder and &FRIENDS co-CEO Dave Bentley said that while the concept started as a marketplace, the team quickly realised this was only part of the solution.
“We realised that a great marketplace was only one piece of the talent puzzle for companies, the talent challenge is far broader, and requires a more holistic approach.
“The fact is that 90% of companies know they need to build a more agile and adaptive workforce, but less than 80% are actually able to find the solution to tackling this, by doing anything about it.
“This inertia is because the problem has traditionally been hard to solve, getting filed under ‘too hard’.
“The merge with &FRIENDS enables us to give our clients the holistic solution they need – binding every stage of the talent journey – including sourcing, onboarding, managing and payment – into a frictionless customer experience that takes away the pain, time and cost.”
&FRIENDS CCO, Matt Carroll, said “Right now the demands being placed on the creative industry are unprecedented – with businesses being challenged to produce more output than ever – faster and more cost-efficiently. The traditional response to this is that it’s ‘not possible’. So we challenged ourselves to create a tool that makes it possible. By combining the expertise and experience of Cavalry and &FRIENDS, we believe we’ve done that.
Creating an engaged, global community of world class makers, helps our industry solve the chronic shortage of quality talent being experienced across the board. Indeed this is a talent shortage that ALL industries are facing.
“What excites me about the synergy between Cavalry and &FRIENDS is that it allows us to solve a fundamental, complex problem, very simply – while enabling clients and partners to create premium quality content faster, and at previously unthinkable costs. ”
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