|Type of business||Public|
|Traded as||NASDAQ: UPWK|
|Headquarters||Mountain View, California, United States|
|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 $1 billion USD, 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.
As of March 2017[update], it reported 14 million users and 10.2 regular user 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 now includes a real-time chat platform aimed at reducing the time to find and hire freelancers.
The platform offers a time sheet application that tracks time and takes screenshots while the freelancer is working.
Geoblocking: U.S. only and UK only jobs
In April 2017 Upwork started a U.S. only job filter for freelancers in the United States and announced this in the Upwork freelancer community. In September 2018 an UK only filter was established. 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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