15 Successful Startups Built Using Outsourcing Development

Starting a business is perhaps one of the most difficult things possible. The reason for this being all the backend grunt work that goes behind getting it up and running. Hiring staff costs insane amounts of money, and doing certain jobs yourself takes way too much time to learn and perfect. That’s why keeping your sanity by outsourcing certain jobs plays such a pivotal role in the way things get done both cheaply and efficiently.

You’d be pleasantly surprised as to how many of your favorite best-known companies got their startup idea up and running, thanks in large part to outsourcing. These businesses were savvy enough to acquire the services of freelancers in an attempt to save themselves from unnecessarily burning through large amounts of capital.

So without further hesitation, here are 15 successful startups built on outsourcing.

why outsource GTS

  1. Slack: This is probably the most popular business communication tool out right now. Just about everyone who works remotely or within a corporate setting uses Slack. The company used outsourcing to build out its platform in the early days. Now it is being valued at around $3 billion.
  2. Skype: Similar to thousands or millions of businesses operating today, they used a team of foreign developers based in Estonia. This allowed the company to help build out their business. As a result, the company grew and became an industry leader in VOIP (Voice-over-IP) communication services. Later the company would be acquired by Microsoft for several billion dollars.
  3. Basecamp: The same kind of business savvy when it comes to saving money by outsourcing worked for Basecamp, a technology leader.
  4. Github: Before the company started helping people build software, they used numerous folks who completed development working remotely from home. Not to mention, one of the founders of the company was hired as a consultant on an outsourcing basis.
  5. Klout: To help get its technology off the ground, the company relied on many outsourced developers to get things where it needed to be before it launched. Now Klout is one of the leaders in helping people who want to be great at social media.
  6. Alibaba: Alibaba is the biggest global marketplace you can access online. However, what people don’t know is the company initially outsourced its development to a firm in the U.S. in its beginning days. At the time, overseas development talent was still in short supply and the U.S. had the skills Alibaba needed to compete with e-commerce giants like eBay and did it all behind the Chinese internet restrictions. Outsourcing development to contractors can provide affordable talent to a startup when it needs it the most.
  7. SeatGeek: This company found a considerable cost benefit to outsourcing specific tasks to talent in other countries. That helped them build their infrastructure quicker at less cost than hiring in-house staff. The founder Jack Groetzinger has publicly stated how he’s a firm believer in the power of outsourcing in the early stages.
  8. AppSumo: The company has used many freelancers in various fields, including marketing, content and IT to grow its business. AppSumo is proud of the fact that it was started with just a modest 50 bucks. Crazy, right?
  9. Staff.com: Earns its money as a company that offers outsourced talent and freelancers for other organizations. Staff.com utilized a similar model like many of the companies on this list in growing from a start-up into a globally successful business.
  10. UpWork: Isn’t it ironic that a company that specializes in crowdsourced work was also built on the same principles? Well, that’s the beginnings of how UpWork started, as they were built by contractors. Most of the company’s engineering staff is comprised of talent they hired off their own ODesk marketplace.
  11. Fab.com: This company’s e-commerce platform was built by using a software development firm in India. Over time, Fab.com saw that the site’s needs were more robust and, as a result, purchased the India firm. The company succeeded in its outsourcing efforts in large part due to top-level execs’ skill at managing the outsourcing process.
  12. Groove: Before being acquired by Microsoft, this SaaS (software-as-a-service) company made the decision to outsource the technical aspects of growing its business through a firm. Thus, allowing for the company to save money it would’ve otherwise spent on hiring a full-time staff.
  13. Opera: This web browser was strapped for cash, so paying for top notch developers was out of the equation. Instead, the company made the smart decision to hire developers in other countries to implement its platform.
  14. Gliffy: Way before Gliffy was able help professionals create UML diagrams, floor plans, Venn diagrams, flowcharts and various other kinds of diagrams online, it had to be extremely resourceful with limited funds. As a result, the company relied on outsourcing for specific aspects of its technology development.
  15. Mailburn: These guys made the calculated decision to partner up with an outsourced service provider. This allowed for the company to build its business communication platform with backward compatibility with email.

We hope you enjoyed this list of successful startups that defied the odds and became leaders of their industry using outsourcing development as a key tool. Be sure to check out our outsourcing services here.

Keep Your Sanity By Outsourcing Your Website’s Day To Day Operations

Running an online business can be extremely time-consuming. That’s why it is imperative to have a service provider or professional who can do it for you. Why waste time by doing work you’d rather not be doing? Outsourcing that work for a small fee can free up the time to search and create more opportunities.

As a small business owner, sticking to a budget and being frugal is admirable. However, it can hinder you by slowing the growth of your business. For instance, more time is spent in areas you’re not particularly good in, instead of the ones you are.

To understand this further, we’ve taken the time to mention a few areas that could be outsourced to save you time and pain. Here are those examples.

E-commerce Site Design


If you’re not an incredibly skilled professional at website development, then you should consider outsourcing. Leaving duties to someone more equipped to design your e-commerce site to ensure that it looks great, runs smoothly, and efficiently is key. There are many reasons as to why this approach is the most sensible one.

For one, designing and developing a professional and reliable modern e-commerce website takes years to learn. You have to be realistic with yourself. Do you have that kind of time? The answer is probably not.

Hiring someone takes away the stress of you having to worry about your customer’s buying experience. Let someone else more seasoned handle problems that could come from browsing and purchasing items.

Nothing would be worse than having an issue that prevented your customers from buying what they like. This kind of thing could keep customers from returning to your online store. Thus, making you lose money.

So it’s simple. Investing all your time in learning HTML, JavaScript and CSS is extremely time-consuming. For this reason, outsourcing your website design and development is the best option because it will cost you a lot less. Not to mention save your morale.

Business Applications

Business Integration

App development is incredibly pricey. The reality is, customized applications that are created and tailored to how your website operates, requires an investment of time and money. However, there are shortcuts to getting the same production and quality at a more affordable cost.

For example, linking up with comprehensive business apps such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps is the right first step. The second is outsourcing these types of infrastructures as much as possible, especially those that don’t have IT people in-house. You can find some more of those in our 9 Must-Have Magento Extensions.

The best part about using these services is you don’t need to worry about refreshing the software, as they’re frequently updated with the latest technology. Software like this keeps your business agile and competitive up against bigger companies.

Outsourcing the day-to-day operations and tasks associated with these platforms saves you hundreds of hours and relieves stress. Additionally, this approach allows you to not only scale up in production but also scale down in time and money spent.

Not having to worry about how your apps are integrated and how they talk to each other is a huge timesaver.

Tedious Tasks

Business Tasks

Every business owner has this to worry about. These annoying tedious tasks that have to be done that go easily unaccounted for sometimes. Unfortunately, many of these different types of tasks can’t be automated, so that’s where outsourcing comes in.

Honestly, you can always do these things yourself, but you must realize the time you are wasting while doing them. You could be using that time doing more productive things that can help generate additional income for your business’ website.

That being said, in order to outsource your tasks, you need to first make it clear what you need to be done and how to do it. The way you do this is by creating proper detail-oriented documentation and training. In that case, it’s best to find a professional who can handle end-user training and support. Outsourcing this work is cheaper than hiring someone in-house to take care of it.

At the same time, there’s a lot of care and effort that goes into making sure things is smooth enough to hand off to someone else.

For instance, instead of solely focusing on what you need to be done, you must break it down into a very detailed step-by-step training. Don’t be vague. You should know exactly what you will have your outsourced help working on. Practice patience and put the work in and you will reap the benefits of some great cost savings.

In Closing

These are examples we’ve chosen to best show why you should consider outsourcing your site’s day-to-day operations. For example, if you are a business owner who sells electronics, then you’re going to need technical support. Scaling up from this will require more resources, so outsourcing for technical support is the move to make.

Actually, it’s really a rule every business in all areas of expertise should follow. The objective is to make your workload less stressful so you can accelerate the growth of your company.

You ever heard the quote “you have to spend money to make money”? Well, this statement holds true in so many ways pertaining to running your own company.

Don’t let the allure of saving money hamper your pursuit of grabbing more business for your website.

So be on point by working smarter and not harder. Keep your sanity by outsourcing your website’s day-to-day operations.

Try it. You might be surprised how much time and money you’ll save.