Upwork Global Inc. provides an online platform for businesses to aid them in managing their freelancers. Upwork was first formed in 2015 as the result of the merger between Elance and oDesk. The two first officially united on December 18, 2013. Immediately following the merger it was called simply Elance-oDesk, before officially switching to its current name in 2015. After it changed its name to Upwork, it greatly upgraded the oDesk and eliminated the Elance platform completely. Today it maintains offices in 180 countries around the world.
Upwork gets paid by receiving a commission of freelancers for each project found on their site. This commission varies but is usually 14 to 15%. It is for this reason that the CEO of Upwork has publicly stated that it is in the company’s best interest for their freelancers to work on their site as much as possible. In 2017 it ended up taking in on its commissions, $229 million. As of June, Upwork had overseen 2 million projects in 2018. 10 percent of these projects were done by one unnamed client. This is not the first time this has happened.
In each of the past two years, there were two other clients who also both achieved ten percent of that year’s projects. Upwork is just one freelancer platform just now going public, indicating that this is a growing phenomenon and that more and more remote work is being done. Upwork’s current contributing investors include DAG Ventures, Benchmark Capital, T. Rowe Price, FirstMark Capital, Jackson Square Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners and Stripes Group. All of these investors are very optimistic and for good reason; its financial success keeps on skyrocketing ever higher.
This is heightened by the fact that not only is it gaining new freelancer clients, but it is also retaining the old ones. Along with Fiverr, it is currently the largest freelance marketplace in the world.