(Note: At SmallBusiness.com, we do not typically report on startups, venture funding or public offerings. We believe that information is covered well by others. We make an exception when the company relates to a small business niche we follow regularly, like alternative funding, on-demand economy, co-working space, and various types of networked marketplaces, like Upwork and others that serve one of the largest small business categories, freelancers.)


The freelancer marketplace Upwork went public this morning (Wednesday, October 3, 2018) on the Nasdaq stock exchange. It priced shares at $15 apiece, raising $187 million through its initial public offering. That gave Upwork an initial market capitalization of nearly $1.6 billion.

(We don’t like to use the term “Uber for X,” but if you must call it something, call it an Uber for Freelancers. Competitors include Voices.comFreelancer.com, and Fiverr.)

In its filing, Upwork included these statistics for the twelve months that ended June 30, 2018.

$1.56 billion | “Gross services volume” (a metric Upwork uses that represents the total amount of transactions carried out between freelancers and clients using its network).

2 million | Number of projects enabled

375,000 | Number of freelancers registered on Upwork

475,000 | Number of clients registered on Upwork

180 | Number of countries served by Upwork

Upwork was formed in 2014 when Elance and oDesk, two of the earliest and largest online talent marketplaces, combined as a new company.

Photo | GettyImages