Upwork Wants to Go Public

Many startups that were once private companies are now taking advantage of the current state of the stock market by going public. Recently, Upwork announced its plans to go public as well. It is one of the world’s most popular online freelance work sites. During the past decade, it helped shape what is known as the gig economy today. The gig economy refers to single jobs, temporary contracts and long-term jobs that are acquired by freelance workers. It differs from sites such as Indeed and Monster that connect employers with potential employees. Freelance workers do not become employees but are more like service providers for companies or individuals.

Upwork To Go Public

According to a recent news article about Upwork’s plans to go public, the company filed its initial offering confidentially. This means that the company will likely become public within the next several months. If the company decides to change its plans or if it is acquired, it will not go public. However, those who are familiar with the company and its tentative plans say that both possibilities are unlikely. Since Upwork’s freelance job listings are related to digital or online services, it has the potential to grow even more as time passes.

Why Upwork Is Growing

More workplaces are leaning toward digital solutions and are moving more tasks out of the office. Also, it is cheaper for most companies to work with freelance professionals than it is for them to keep such talent on staff. This is especially true with professionals who have specialized skills. For example, one of Upwork’s fastest-growing specialties is blockchain development. A recent article detailed the growing demand for blockchain security and developers to design it. The limited availability of blockchain development training in relation to the heightened demand has created problems. However, the demand for blockchain developers recently increased by more than 6,000 percent on Upwork alone. Several other specialty categories have experienced astounding growth, and the company’s ability to expand even more does not appear to be in danger.

From computer programmers and graphic designers to consultants and content writers, there are many types of virtual contract jobs listed on Upwork each day. The site provides a secure and simple platform that connects companies with professionals, and it is more secure for both parties to initiate a contract and make a transaction on the Upwork platform. Freelance workers’ profiles show how many jobs they have completed and their ratings. If hiring parties want to look for freelance workers based on hourly rates, they can quickly compare many profiles of professionals. In some instances, professionals work in other parts of the world and accept lower pay because of their higher currency conversion rates. One example was recently shared in a story about a Nigerian game developer. The story detailed the man’s self-made path to success and his extensive freelance work. He has many satisfied customers and still maintains a lower hourly rate than many professionals with similar skills and top-rated profiles.

How Upwork Makes Money

When job seekers and job posters use the Upwork platform, the company takes a small cut of the freelancer’s pay. Although Upwork has not released specific revenue numbers yet, experts have estimated that the company’s worth is around $1 billion. Although revenue and valuation remain points of mystery, Upwork will surely be a marquee IPO for the end of 2018. When the company was contacted for comments about its upcoming plans, the CEO did not respond. Freelance work does not interest or apply to many people. However, individuals who are interested in the stock market or those who are investors should pay attention to online companies such as Upwork that are going public. In the past, such companies remained private and made venture capitalists richer. The 2018 stock market lured many of these companies out of the shadows, and forecasts for 2019 and 2020 include predictions of even more companies going public. This is beneficial for the average American since strong companies such as Upwork have the potential to be great investments as technology evolves and as digital businesses grow.

What Is Upwork?

Stephane Kasriel is the CEO of Upwork today. As it is with many technology companies, Upwork’s success story is tied to Silicon Valley. The company started there in the early 2000s when a tech enthusiast wanted to hire a friend for a job. The dilemma was that the individual lived in Greece, which made it difficult for that person and the tech enthusiast’s team to work together. However, the Greek professional was the perfect fit for the job. This dilemma led to the idea of creating an online platform for job seekers and companies. It allowed companies to connect with professionals and for honest freelancers to build a solid online reputation. With reviews and ratings, honest professionals had more opportunities while employers had more assurance of quality work. The platform quickly became successful. Originally, the company was called oDesk. It merged with the popular Elance site in 2013 and became Upwork. Elance was an older company that was formed in 1999.

In the past, the company raised a total of $168 million for funding from 10 private equity sources. Currently, freelancers who use the Upwork platform take in a cumulative amount of more than $1 billion annually. Companies that want to hire freelance professionals have more than 3,500 skill categories to browse. Today, there are 5 million registered clients and 12 million registered freelancers. Businesses get more work done today because of this platform. With its growing popularity following the merger, there are millions of jobs posted each year. Upwork’s cost structure is designed to be affordable, and its secure transactions provide safety for both the hiring party and the freelancer. Additionally, it offers a screenshot-based digital time sheet and a tracking program. This combination gives companies the assurance of honest billing practices from freelance professionals.

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.

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