|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||Mountain View, California, U.S.|
|Created by||Beerud Sheth|
|Key people||Stephane Kasriel (CEO), Thomas Layton (Chairman)|
|Alexa rank||410 (As of 19 March 2019[update])|
Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely. In 2015, Elance-oDesk was rebranded as Upwork. It is based in Mountain View 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 1999 by Beerud Sheth, Srini Anumolu and Sanjay Noronha. oDesk was founded in 2003 by Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis. Upwork was formed 18 months after Elance and oDesk announced their merger on December 18, 2013 to create Elance-oDesk. With the launch of Upwork, the oDesk platform was upgraded and rebranded and the company announced that the Elance platform would be phased out within a couple of years, resulting in a single freelance marketplace.
In early September 2015, the service experienced an outage which led to an apology being issued by CEO Stephane Kasriel. This led to the introduction of an Upwork Status page to offer freelancers and clients greater transparency.
Size and scope
As of March 2017[update], it reported 14 million users in 180 countries with $1B in annual freelancer billings. From its foundation in 1999, the company has raised a total of $168 million through 10 private equity funding rounds.
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.
Location Requirements: U.S. only and UK only jobs
Upwork has a job filters for service providers in the U.S. and one for service providers in the U.K. . These filters allow job posters from the United States and the United Kingdom to specify that people from a certain location can apply to their jobs.
Upwork has a U.S.-only website designed to reduce competition between freelancers in the U.S. and those in other countries. In October 2018, Upwork's CEO Stephane Kasriel said in an interview with CNBC that Upwork had taken steps to help U.S.-based freelancers protect against being undercut by their global counterparts, “Last year, we launched a U.S.-only website, where U.S. freelancers are only competing against other U.S.-based freelancers. And that means they can have rates that are compatible with what they would expect to get in the U.S.”
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