It was mind-blowing for many when the value of bitcoin tokens rose past $20,000 in mid-December 2020, but the cryptocurrency more than doubled from that price roughly three weeks later. The volatile price cooled from those $40K highs in the days that followed, but tokens are even now trading around $38,000. Plenty of people consider it a great investment, but there are plenty of detractors too (thus the volatility).
If bitcoin has caught your investing eye, consider this: Bitcoin’s rise sounds incredible, but there are stocks out there — Fiverr International (NYSE:FVRR) for instance — that could be an even better investment. Let’s take a look at why.
The workplace of the future
Fiverr International is a marketplace for freelance jobs. The company has been growing since its incorporation in 2010, but its services became much more vital to workers and those in need of project help during the pandemic with the rise of remote work.
In the third quarter ended Sept. 30, revenue increased 88% over the prior year. Active buyers — those who have used the company’s services recently — increased 37% to 3 million, and there were over 300,000 new buyers. High-value buyers, who spend more than $500 annually through the service, increased as well, to 57% of total revenue.
Does it sound good yet? It gets better. Freelance job websites have been around for a long time, but online freelance is still a fraction of the overall freelance market. Fiverr estimates an $815 billion U.S. freelance market and a $115 billion addressable market. Even if that’s overshooting, there’s massive opportunity in freelance as the pandemic and overall shift to digital are changing how businesses operate. Fiverr’s 2019 annual sales come in at $107 million, and that will be much higher in 2020 when Fiverr releases full-year sales results on Feb. 18. But it’s still a small number, and investors can expect it to keep growing.
To get a great chunk of that market, Fiverr has expanded to seven countries and is broadening its suite of services in its model of service as a product. It’s also upgrading its technology and investing in customer acquisition.
Costs are also decreasing as the all-digital company is easier to scale, and as sales keep increasing, there’s a path toward profitability.
Why Fiverr beats bitcoin
Nothing is necessarily wrong with bitcoin as an investment, and a lot of people have made heaps of money from bitcoin trading. But stocks, as opposed to cryptocurrency, generally have some inherent value in the companies’ sales, products, and management that back them up. Long-term investors buy shares in companies they believe in, and while the market can be manipulated (shorting) and investors can bid up failing companies as with GameStop, share price typically follows how well a company is performing.
Bitcoin doesn’t have any clear, solid financials to back it up as a great investment. Some investors see it as the currency of the future, and others are interested in its potential for even higher gains. But that comes with a lot of risk, at the expense of more stable investment.
Bitcoin made headlines with its rapid ascent in 2020, but altogether it gained a little less than 300% in value in the past year. If that sounds like a lot, Fiverr, which has a strong track record, excellent management, and enormous potential for growth, did even better. Its stock price gained nearly 750% in 2020, more than double bitcoin’s surge, and is up 16% so far in 2021. And there’s so much more coming.
Fiverr shares trade at a high valuation of 47 times sales, so it doesn’t look like a bargain. But while some future growth is baked into the current price, investors can still expect to see more massive gains as the company grows.
Then again, there’s no guarantee of future gains. But considering everything Fiverr International has going for it, and everything that bitcoin doesn’t, I’d place my bets on Fiverr.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.