Hey Xolopreneurs! On July 15, we announced Xolo Go - a revolutionary new form of micro-business that we internally call a “virtual company”. Go allows launching your business in hours instead of weeks, providing you with a framework for agreeing on services provided to your customers, together with a super-easy-to-use self-service platform for invoicing and expenses, and a business account. We also introduced pay-as-you-go pricing with no fixed monthly fees. This makes Go probably the easiest way of launching a freelance business in Europe.
Customer interest in Go exceeded all our expectations. Thousands of people have signed up every month and we have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback. We opened the platform for the first customers from September and by today 500 freelancers have received their private beta invites. We will invite more beta test customers on board in October and are now targeting opening full public access to the platform in November.
We were holding our breath to see if the first customers will really put the platform to use, and boy, they did. Hundreds of freelancers are now using Xolo Go to launch projects with their customers, bill and get paid quickly. We already have tens of repeat customers issuing invoices almost every second day. 100% of the polled customers have given Go a very positive mark.
We’ve been extremely busy trying to keep up with your requests; listening & learning & iterating. Our intention has always been to build this with you – thanks for your feedback – we’re just getting started together!
One decision we made after listening to you was to remove the €36,000 12-month limit on revenue that could be passed through Xolo Go. We originally thought this was a reasonable level to allow freelancers to get started while allowing us to figure out how to manage potential risks related to larger amounts. However, we realized this was a major cause of concern for many of you and we immediately made improvements to our risk management processes. From now on, we will be reviewing individual projects on a case-by-case basis. We listened. We prioritized. Thank you.
We sincerely appreciate everyone who has signed up for Go. Following signup, we offer anyone who would like early-access to complete a short survey. Freelancers are an extremely diverse and interesting group of people, and the survey is invaluable for us to understand your needs better, so we can build a better service for you.
We have to be selective about invites for now because the last thing we want is a flood of freelancers joining the service before we are fully capable to serve you. Most services are focused only on quantity; we are focused on the quality of your experience. If we’re currently unable to support some kind of freelance business activities or geographies, we don’t want to invite you in, only for you to be disappointed when you try to engage your customers.
For full transparency, here are the criteria we’ve been using for early access:
WHY? Even though Xolo Go provides you with a bank account, we want to be sure that all freelancers are able to withdraw their earnings quickly & easily. There would be nothing more disappointing than not being able to access your hard-earned income immediately. With an account in the single European payments area (SEPA), we can ensure this. If you are not already banked in a SEPA country, we suggest you try establishing a digital borderless account with one of the providers operating within SEPA (e.g. Transferwise, N26, Revolut, Monese).
WHY? We take our professional reputation very seriously and know that you do too. We maintain the highest standards in ensuring only legitimate business activities are conducted with Xolo Go. By limiting current freelance activities to a selection of countries (and by requiring a relevant VAT number), we are able to perform necessary checks related to KYC and AML. In the short-term, we recognize this may limit legitimate business activities you want to conduct in other regions or with other parties (e.g. individuals, non-profits, etc). But until we have stringent processes in place to support these kinds of customers, we need to say no. Our mission is to make it easier for freelancers to work with any kind of customers, anywhere in the world… but we need to progress in reasonable & responsible steps.
WHY? We want to spend as much of our energy as possible helping freelancers successfully complete projects with their customers. We want your freelance business to grow. That means for survey respondents who indicated that they are not actively freelancing right now, we have not yet offered you early access. We understand that freelance projects can be very unpredictable, so if you have a customer project that suddenly comes up, please contact us and we’ll do our best to get you onboard quickly. You can let us know through the chat window on our website, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We intend to remove this requirement once we have opened the service to everyone later this year.
In closing, Xolo Go is the first “virtual company” for freelancers. It is truly unique. Therefore, we have had to make a lot of assumptions to get started. We hope Xolo Go will not be an incremental improvement on how you work, but something revolutionary for all freelancers. That means there is still a lot of work to do, and a lot of unknowns. Your feedback guides us. If you have anything you would like to share with us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
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