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Contractor website to re-brand online marketplace

For many contractors, finding work online is the key to their success, so many will be pleased to hear the latest from one of the largest and most successful online freelancer marketplaces in the world. Elance-odesk was already the result of a merging of two of the biggest and most profitable sites in the sector, […]

By Laura Nixon on 07 May 2015
Read time: 2 minutes

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For many contractors, finding work online is the key to their success, so many will be pleased to hear the latest from one of the largest and most successful online freelancer marketplaces in the world. Elance-odesk was already the result of a merging of two of the biggest and most profitable sites in the sector, and their decision to rebrand as Upwork will be one which is welcomed by their users who will benefit from the new investment that has been raised.

Just less than a year after the merger of Elance and oDesk, in December 2013, the site raised investment revenue of $30 million in November 2014 from some big names in the business such as FirstMark Capital, Benchmark, New Enterprise Associates and Stripes Group. The role of CEO will be taken on my Stephane Kasriel who has worked for the company since 2012. The company hosts more than 4 million businesses helping them to connect with the 10 million freelancers and contractors who use the site in order to match up the available roles with the perfect candidate. The site includes employers and workers from 180 different countries and featuring around 2,700 different skills. Some of the biggest employees which use the site to find workers include Hewlett-Packard, Coca-Cola and Unilever.

The freelancers who have been using the Elance-oDesk regularly earn $1 billion a year between them, according to the business’s press release, and they are predicting that in the six years following their re-branding, this figure will increase to around £10 billion through Upwork. The company estimates that the global contractor job market is worth around $1 trillion every year, and Upwork is planning to capitalise on this. To this end, they are planning to include a new mobile app, updated search algorithms, a more efficient processing system and a real-time chat service in order to ensure that they are able to win a significant portion of the available revenue.

Whilst there are some major players in the hiring market, such as Monster, Indeed, LinkedIn and Career builder, Upwork is hoping that their unique approach to hiring will allow them to compete with these successful sites. Their average hiring time is just three days, which is significantly shorter than the three week average amongst other hirers, but Upwork has ambitions to reduce that to closer to three minutes within a year.

With a focus on temporary assignments, as opposed to permanent or longer-term positions, Upwork has a unique appeal to those who are keen to earn money in a flexible manner that a freelance lifestyle allows.

If you are considering a career as a contractor or freelancer, then getting the finance side of things organised is a good first step. Using a specialist freelancer accountant can help you to understand the best way to manage your money, save you time and help you reduce your bills. Whatever sector you work in, our friendly team is on hand to help, so call today on 01253 362062 or email us at contractoradvice@nixonwilliams.com.

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