Freelancing Marketplace Giant Upwork IPO is Today

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Revenue for the site was $164.4 million in 2016. It grew to $202.6 million in 2017. The company processed 20 percent more payments, but earned 23 percent more in revenue.

In 2016, the company showed a net loss of $16.2 million. But in 2017, its loss was only $4.1 million. The reason for the losses? According to Upwork, “We have made significant investments to grow our business, including in sales and marketing, research and development, operations, and personnel.”

And last fiscal year, Upwork processed $1.56 billion worth of payments. It served 375,000 freelancers and 475,000 clients. Its reach covered 180 countries.

Upwork states, “We believe that a key driver of our growth is our track record of creating trust and enabling freelancers and clients to successfully connect at scale on our platform. As the largest online global marketplace for highly-skilled freelancers as measured by GSV, we benefit from network effects that drive growth in both the number of clients posting jobs and the number of highly-skilled freelancers seeking work.”

Outlook for the Company

McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2025, the freelance economy could generate $2.7 trillion. That figure translates to 2 percent of the U.S. economy.