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Upwork Global Inc.
Upwork logo
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)
Predecessor(s) Elance-oDesk
Headquarters Santa Clara, California, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Created by Beerud Sheth
Srini Anumolu
Sanjay Noronha
Key people Hayden Brown (CEO)
Thomas Layton (Chairman)
Industry Freelance marketplace
Website upwork.com
Alexa rank Decrease 443 (As of 19 February 2020)[1]
Registration Required
Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk,[2] is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely. In 2015, Elance-oDesk was rebranded as Upwork.[3] It is based in Santa Clara and San Francisco, California. The full name is Upwork Global Inc.

Upwork has twelve million registered freelancers and five million registered clients.[4][5] Three million jobs are posted annually, worth a total of US$1 billion, making it the largest freelancer marketplace in the world

Upwork was formed 18 months after Elance and oDesk announced their merger on December 18, 2013 to create Elance-oDesk.[8] 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.[9]

The company was listed on the Inc. 5000 list from 2009-2014.[10]

In early September 2015, the service experienced an outage which led to an apology being issued by CEO Stephane Kasriel.[11] This led to the introduction of an Upwork Status page to offer freelancers and clients greater transparency.[citation needed]

The company filed for an initial public offering on October 3, 2018.[12][10]

Elance was founded in 1998 by MIT graduate, Beerud Sheth, and Wall Street veteran, Srini Anumolu in a two-bedroom apartment in Jersey City. In December of 1999, the company’s 22 employees relocated to Sunnyvale, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. Elance’s first product was the Elance Small Business Marketplace.[13]

oDesk was founded in 2003[14] by two friends, Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis[15] who wanted to work together even though one of them was in the U.S., and the other was in Greece. They created oDesk to allow them to do it. Originally built as a staffing firm, oDesk was built into an online marketplace that allowed anyone to find, hire, and, collaborate with remote workers



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