Type of site
|Founded||Mountain View, California
|Key people||Stephane Kasriel (CEO), Thomas Layton (Chairman)|
|Alexa rank||491 (December 2017[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 $1 billion USD, making it is one of the largest freelancer marketplace along with Fiverr.
Upwork allows clients to interview, hire and work with freelancers and agencies through the company's platform. The platform now includes a real-time chat platform aimed at reducing the time to find and hire freelancers.
Clients pay a 2.75% per payment processing fee; some clients are eligible to pay a monthly flat processing fee of $25. Payments can be made using credit cards, PayPal, or bank transfer. Payments are made through Upwork's escrow system, which transfers the funds to freelancers after a 6-day period. Freelancers also pay a fee based on how much they are charging per overall billing to client; 20% under $500, 10% $500-$10000, and 5% $10000+.
The platform offers a time sheet application that tracks time and takes screenshots while the freelancer is working.
Upwork was formed 18 months after Elance and oDesk announced their merger on December 18, 2013 to create Elance-oDesk. oDesk was founded in 2003 by Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis. Elance was founded in 1999 by Beerud Sheth and Srini Anumolu. 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.
On 3 May 2016, the firm announced that the service fee for freelancers will change from flat rate of 10% to a "sliding service fee" of 5% to 20% based on total lifetime billings with each client: 20% for the first $500 billed to the client across all contracts, 10% for total billings with the client between $500.01 and $10,000, and 5% for total billings with the client that exceed $10,000.
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.
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