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Upwork Inc

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About UPWK

Upwork Inc. operates a working marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent. The Company's independent talent refers to the talent that includes independent professionals and agencies of varying sizes. It has marketplace offerings and a managed services offering. The Company's marketplace offerings include Client Marketplace, Upwork Enterprise, and Upwork Payroll. Client Marketplace offering provides clients with access to independent talent with verified work history on its work marketplace and client feedback. Upwork Enterprise clients receive all the product features of Client Marketplace, in addition to consolidated billing and monthly invoicing. Its Upwork Payroll offering is available to clients when they choose to work with talent they engage through Upwork as employees. Through its managed services offering, it engages talent directly or as employees of third-party staffing providers to perform services for clients on its behalf and directly invoice the client.

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What is Upwork and what does it do? 

A freelancer's playground. Upwork Inc. operates the world’s largest work marketplace, connecting professionals with businesses across the globe. 

Upwork serves as a marketing channel for independent professionals looking for work. At the same time, it provides businesses with direct access to this workforce, bypassing traditional (and costly) means of hiring.

Businesses of all sizes, from small to Fortune 100 companies, seek out freelancers on Upwork across 90 categories and 10,000 skills. Some highly popular categories include customer service, design and creative, web/mobile/software development, data science and analytics, and sales and marketing.

How does Upwork make money?

Upwork earns revenue via two business segments, marketplace and managed services.

Marketplace revenue

The majority of this segment’s revenue comes from service fees charged to freelancers when they finish projects and invoice clients. Service fees are a cut of the freelancer’s invoice and are typically 20% of the first US$500, 10% of the next US$9.5k, and 5% for amounts over US$10k.

Upwork also earns revenue by charging:

  • Payment processing and administration fees to freelancers and businesses 

  • Premium talent access fees to businesses

  • “Connects” tokens fees (virtual tokens allowing freelancers to bid on projects)

  • Foreign currency exchange fees (when businesses choose to pay in currencies other than US$)

  • Upwork Payroll fees (when a business classifies a freelancer as an employee and wants Upwork to handle payment)

For FY2021, the marketplace business segment earned a total of US$462.3m, 92% of all of Upwork’s total revenue for the year.

Managed services revenue

Through its managed services offering, Upwork engages freelancers on behalf of businesses to complete projects. Upwork takes responsibility for the work a freelancer produces and directly invoices the business after delivery.

The managed services segment earned US$40.46m, 8% of Upwork’s total revenue for FY2021.

Is Upwork a profitable company?

No, Upwork is not profitable.

While Upwork’s revenue is growing, its net income has sunk deeper into the red over the past three financial years. The company earned minus US$17m for FY2019, minus US$23m for FY2020 and minus US$56 for FY2021.

As of December 2021, Upwork had US$575m of debt on its books.

Is Upwork stock a good buy? 

The performance of UPWK stock shows investors are wary of the company’s lack of earnings and high levels of debt. Since the UPWK stock price highs of over US$60 in October 2021, the stock has dropped more than 60% to a little above US$20 in March 2022.

Despite this drop, Upwork bulls believe the future of the world’s economy will be built on the efforts of freelancers. UPWK stock may be a buy for long-term investors who understand the freelance market, how freelancers work and believe Upwork will become profitable in the near future.

Who owns UPWK stock?

Upwork’s biggest shareholders are institutional. They include Vanguard Group (8.33%), T. Rowe Price Group (7.77%), BlackRock (6.19%), Baillie Gifford & Co. (4.88%) and Jackson Square Partners (4.72%).

Chairman Thomas Layton owns 3.18% of the company’s shares.


One share of Upwork Inc is valued at $10.76.

The ticker symbol for Upwork Inc is UPWK.

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The Upwork Inc 52-week high stock price is $25.12.

The Upwork Inc 52-week low stock price is $9.79.

As of 29/03/2023 Upwork Inc has a market cap of $1.4B.

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This does not constitute financial advice. You should do your own research before making an investment decision. Past performance is not a reliable indication of future performance. No representation is made as to the timeliness, reliability, accuracy or completeness of the market data provided.

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