Upwork is a company and website that connects freelancers and employers connect to remotely work together. The company came to be in 2014 due to a merger of the companies Elance and oDesk. Since then, it has been one of the best and most reliable way for freelancers to find work and for employers to get in contact with potential employees. Upwork makes its money through a small percentage fee taken from the employer’s and consultant’s transaction. The success of the website has already attracted multiple investors with the company reportidly raising over $100 million since the merger.
In October 2018, Upwork inc. debuted on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker UPWK. The company started with an original estimate of $10 to $12 a share for its 12.5 million available shares but ended up pricing the shares at $15 a share. The company had a surprisingly well first trading day. Upwork can boast 53% gain as the shares opened the day at $23. The price would continue to flucuate throughout the day before settling at the price of $21.18 at the end of the day, still a gain of 41% on the day. The company saw great success, and for good reason. Estimates point to a very large percent of the net job growth over the past decade coming from alternative work and consultant labor. In fact, according to McKinsey Global Institute, the freelance economy could grow to generate around $2.7 trillion annually by 2025. The success of Upwork’s first day on the public market points to good things for them and for the freelancing market in general. It is clear that investors are interested in what Upwork has to offer. This could see to a potential rise in the freelancing and consultant sector. If more companies and investors continure to follow suit there could be some exciting results.