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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Firm wades into online barter, job hunting pools

WHILE some technology startups limit themselves to developing one product at a time, this one-year-old local startup hustles to develop many.

Repzter Tech, a Cebu-based company of three people, intends to launch its first two products, namely Baylo and Philzter, within the third quarter of this year.

“As a solutions provider startup company, we want to introduce new technologies, and even already available technologies in other countries that are not yet in the Philippines. We will develop apps and websites that address the needs of the people, Filipinos especially,” said Marco Muñoz, Repzter operations head.

Philzter is an online job marketplace that functions like Upwork or Freelancer.com. However, it focuses more on the Philippine labor market and covers all kinds of jobs, from plumber, welder, laundry work, house cleaner, to complex jobs like copywriting, programming, and web design, among many others.

“With Philzter, we want to expand it until the most common jobs, and we will use reputation-based ranking,” said Muñoz. In other words, workers will be rated based on the quality of their work. Those who get the highest rating will appear on top of the search results.

But in a country where Internet use is mostly concentrated among those living in urban areas and younger Filipinos, Philzter is up for a challenge.

Part of the plan is to go out to the barangays and conduct digital literacy talks where communities can learn about the job opportunities on the Internet and use Philzter as one tool to help them find jobs.

“We will make it in such a way that it will be very easy to use for everyone, as much as possible. We will do away with complex details and designs,” said Muñoz.

Repzter is also developing Baylo, a shopping website that functions like Amazon or OLX, but where money is not the only currency.

With Baylo, the Cebuano word for “exchange”, users of the mobile app and the website can purchase a product by selling their services or bartering goods.

“Let’s say, someone is looking for a programmer, and that person has a spare Macbook or laptop, he can pay the programmer that thing instead of giving out cash,” said Muñoz.

Muñoz works alongside his sister Monna, Repzter’s president, and Christy Pastorpide, their secretary. They also have freelancers like Titus Jungao, who works on algorithms, and Gio Gamba, a freelance developer. One year since its conceptualization last January 2016, the team is “polishing” Baylo and Philzter. It will be offered for free starting in the third quarter this year.

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