Escrow Agreement
Last Updated on: 1 January 2020

This Escrow Agreement applies where a Hirer and a Freelancer enters into a Freelance Service Agreement and governs the rights and obligations of the Hirer, Freelancer, Avenevv Pte Ltd (doing business as Avenaire), and AvePay Pte Ltd (the “Escrow Agent”).

To the maximum extent permitted by law, Avenaire reserves the right to change this Escrow Agreement from time to time in our sole discretion. We encourage you to frequently check this page for any changes, which will be indicated by a change in the “Last Updated” date. Your continued use of the Avenaire Platform after any change in these Terms of Service will constitute your acceptance of such change.

1. Appointment of Escrow Agent

AvePay Pte Ltd provides escrow services solely to Users of the Avenaire Platform. These escrow services are provided solely for the purposes of delivering, holding, or receiving payment for jobs for services engaged through the Avenaire Platform, and to pay the Escrow Fees and other subscription and payment processing fees to Avenaire. The Users agree to use these escrow services only for purposes connected with the use of the Avenaire Platform.

By entering into a Freelance Service Agreement on the Avenaire Platform, the Hirer and Freelancer hereby appoint AvePay Pte Ltd as the Escrow Agent.

2. Funding of Escrow Account
2.1. Users may elect to fund the Escrow Account using two methods:
a) Bank transfer or telegraphic transfer to AvePay’s designated bank account;
b) PayNow to AvePay’s PayNow account proxy; or

c) Credit/debit card payment through Stripe, a third-party payment gateway.

2.2. The choice of funding method in clause 2.1 above is mutually exclusive. Where the Total Fee indicated in the Freelancer Service Agreement is divided into Tranches, the User agrees not to change the funding method when making subsequent payments in fulfilment of their obligations under the same Freelancer Service Agreement.

2.3. Where the User chooses the funding method described in clause 2.1(a), the User shall:
a) For payments through bank transfer or telegraphic transfer, indicate the Contract ID of the Freelancer Service Agreement in the comments field of such instruction; and

b) After making the payment into the Escrow Account, indicate on the Avenaire Platform that the payment has been made, specifying the payment amount; date of payment; and the Contract ID of the Freelancer Service Agreement.

2.4. Where the User chooses the funding method described in clause 2.1(b), the User shall comply with the terms of the third-party payment gateway (“Stripe Terms”). Should there be any conflict between the Stripe Terms and Avenaire’s Terms of Service, Avenaire’s Terms of Service shall prevail.

2.5. Avenaire will update the transaction records related to the Freelancer Service Agreement upon receipt of the funds by the Escrow Agent or Stripe; and when the Hire Fee is released to the Freelancer.

3. Release and disbursement of the funds in Escrow

3.1. Subject to clauses 3.3 and 3.4, the Hirer and Freelancer irrevocably authorize and instruct the Escrow Agent to release the Hire Fee associated with the Tranche Payment to the Freelancer at the corresponding Tranche Release Date in the Freelancer Service Agreement.

3.2. The Freelancer acknowledges that it may take up to ten (10) working days from the Tranche Release Date to receive the funds, since factors such as the payment method and bank which the Freelancer uses may incur additional processing time by third parties.

3.3. Clause 3.1 shall not be applicable in the event of Cancellation by the Hirer or the Freelancer. Should there be a Cancellation, the Cancellation Policy in the Freelancer Service Agreement shall apply.

3.4. Clause 3.1 shall not be applicable in the event of a Dispute raised by the Hirer or the Freelancer. Should there be a Dispute, the Dispute Resolution Policy in clause 4 below shall apply.

4. Dispute Resolution

4.1. Following the commencement of the Freelancer Service Agreement, the Hirer or Freelancer may raise a dispute on the Avenaire Platform in relation to any Services rendered under the Freelancer Service Agreement (a “Dispute”). Where a Dispute is raised, the funds in Escrow will not be released in accordance with clause 3.1 and will be redirected to and held by the Escrow Agent pending resolution of the Dispute in accordance with clause 4.2.

4.2. The Hirer and Freelancer agrees to abide to the following Dispute Resolution Policy:
a) Avenaire will first attempt to assist the Hirer and Freelancer by reviewing the Dispute and proposing a mutual, non-binding resolution. The party raising the dispute shall click on “Raise Dispute” on the Avenaire Platform and provide information and supporting documentation (if any). Avenaire’s Resolution team will notify the other party by providing a notice of dispute along with a request for information and supporting documentation (if any). The other party has seven< (7) days upon receipt of the notice to provide such information and documentation as required by Avenaire.
b) Following the provision of information by the Respondent or the lapse of the seven day period provided in clause 4.2(a), Avenaire’s Resolution team will, within seven (7) days, review the documentation submitted and any information available on the Platform and the Freelancer Service Agreement that pertains to the Dispute. After review, Avenaire’s Resolution team will propose a mutual, non-binding resolution based on the results of the review.
c) The Hirer and Freelancer have the option to accept Avenaire’s proposed, non-binding resolution within three (3) days after the proposed resolution is published in the Avenaire Platform. If both parties accept, the Hirer and Freelancer agree that the Escrow Agent is authorized and irrevocably instructed to immediately release to any funds held in Escrow in accordance with the proposed resolution.
d) If either party does not accept Avenaire’s proposed non-binding resolution, Avenaire will provide a further five (5) days for the Hirer and Freelancer to reach a mutual resolution among themselves. The mutual resolution may be proposed by either the Hirer or the Freelancer and has to be accepted by the other party on the Avenaire Platform.
e) If a mutual resolution is not proposed and accepted within the timeframe in clause 4.2(d) above, either party may proceed to file a claim at the Small Claims Tribunal (for disputes below $30,000) or at the State Courts (for disputes above $30,000). Either party may indicate their intention to file a claim by notifying Avenaire via support ticket of their intention within three (3) days following the five day period provided in 4.2(d). Upon notifying Avenaire, the party filing the claim has a further fourteen (14) days to provide Avenaire with proof that the claim has been filed, by submitting a receipt or letter from the Small Claims Tribunal or State Courts confirming the date fixed for the hearing.
f) Should Avenaire not receive any notice of an intention to file a claim at the Small Claims Tribunal or State Courts (where applicable); or proof that the claim has been filed within the timeframes stipulated in clause 4.2(e) above, the Hirer and Freelancer agree that the Escrow Agent is authorized and irrevocably instructed to immediately release funds held in Escrow in accordance with Avenaire’s proposed resolution in clause 4.2(b).

g) You agree that the Small Claims Tribunal or State Courts (where applicable) is authorized to decide the Dispute within its discretion; that the decision by the Small Claims Tribunal or State Courts is final and enforceable against the other party; and that if the Small Claims Tribunal or State Courts delivers notice of any outcome to Avenaire, then Avenaire and AvePay have the right to treat such notice as conclusive and act in reliance thereon.

4.3. You agree that all claims, disputes or other disagreements between you and another User must be resolved in accordance with the Dispute Resolution Policy stated in this clause 4. All claims filed or brought contrary to the Dispute Resolution Policy will be considered improperly filed, and Avenaire or AvePay will have the right to take any other action, including suspension or termination of your Account, and any other legal action as Avenaire or AvePay deems appropriate in its sole discretion.

4.4. Notwithstanding clause 4.3, Avenaire reserves the right to suspend or terminate your Account immediately upon giving notice to you if Avenaire believes you may be abusing the Dispute Resolution Policy or as otherwise permitted by our Terms of Service.