|Type of business||Public|
|Traded as||NASDAQ: UPWK|
Russell 2000 Index component
|Founded||1999 (as Elance)|
2003 (as oDesk)
2013 (as Elance-oDesk)
2015 (as Upwork)
|Headquarters||Santa Clara, California, U.S.|
|Created by||Beerud Sheth|
|Key people||Hayden Brown (CEO)|
Thomas Layton (Chairman)
|Alexa rank||443 (As of 19 February 2020[update])|
Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a global freelancing platform where businesses or individuals connect to conduct business. In 2015, Elance-oDesk was rebranded as Upwork. It is based in Santa Clara and San Francisco, California. The full name is Upwork Global Inc.
Upwork has twelve million registered freelancers and five million registered clients. Three million jobs are posted annually, worth a total of US$1 billion, making it the largest freelancer marketplace in the world.
Elance was founded in 1998 by MIT graduate, Beerud Sheth, and Wall Street veteran, Srini Anumolu in a two-bedroom apartment in Jersey City. In December of 1999, the company's 22 employees relocated to Sunnyvale, in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. Elance's first product was the Elance Small Business Marketplace.
oDesk was founded in 2003 by two friends, Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis who wanted to work together even though one of them was in the U.S., and the other was in Greece. They created oDesk to allow them to do it. Originally built as a staffing firm, oDesk was built into an online marketplace that allowed registers users to find, hire, and collaborate with remote workers.
Elance and oDesk announced their merger on December 18, 2013 to create Elance-oDesk. In 2015, company rebranded as Upwork, coinciding with an upgrade of the oDesk platform under the same name, and planned to phase out the Elance platform within a couple of years.
In early September 2015, the service experienced an outage which led to an apology being issued by CEO Stephane Kasriel.
Size and scope
Upwork allows clients to interview, hire and work with freelancers and agencies through the company's platform. The platform includes a real-time chat aimed at reducing the time it takes to find, vet and hire freelancers.
The platform offers a time sheet application that allows freelancers to track their actual time spent working on projects with verified screenshots.
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