Upwork, the largest freelancing website worldwide; providing over 375,000 independent freelancer’s services to upwards of 95,000 clients from 1 person businesses to well known major corporations through over 70 different job categories in 180 countries throughout the entire world, was formed in the year 2014 when two companies in the market of online labor consultations; Elance found in 1998 and ODesk found in the early 2000’s, merged. The platform makes it seamless and quick for independent freelance professionals and businesses of all kinds to find, hire, work with, and pay each other. In the year 2017 Upwork saw an increase of 20% in payments made through their service totaling to $1.37 billion dollars compared to 2016’s $1.15 billion dollars in total payments. The Upwork platform also facilitated more than 2 million service exchange projects generating a revenue of $121.9 million dollars, witnessing a growth of 28% since the previous year, in 2017.
Freelancers have been earning upwards of $1 billion dollars annually, offering over 3,500 freelance skills, since the company’s initial conception. Upwork has also generated a revenue of $225 million dollars with a gross service volume of $1.5 billion dollars. Along with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stephane Kasriel Upwork has raised over $100 million dollars through funding from investors, $30 million dollars of which being raise immediately after the 2014 merger took place. The company Dragoneer recently, in the month of October 2018, publicly announced its plans to purchase 20% of the company for a price of $32 million dollars. As it currently stands the companied ownership is divided between many outside investors with its largest share, of 15%, being held by Benchmark. The remainder of the company is split between several companies including 14.2% being owned by Sigma Partners, 12.9% by Globespan Capital Partners, T. Rowe Price owning 10.6%, Firstmark Capital owns 5.7%, and SG Growth partners own 5.5% of the company.
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