Upwork unveils new ‘work marketplace’ for freelancers

“We’re in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime, tectonic shift in how work gets done and there’s no looking back,” Upwork CEO Hayden Brown said.
Written by Jonathan Greig, Contributor on

Digital freelancing platform Upwork has announced a new work marketplace designed to give freelancers and in-need companies another way to connect online. 

Upwork president and CEO Hayden Brown explained in a statement that the marketplace will be a "complete ecosystem" offering freelancers a variety of ways to get in touch with companies while also allowing organizations to post jobs and hire on their own. Upwork will offer companies talent recruiters who can help them find the right freelancers as well. 

There will also be space where organizations can search through and buy different projects in addition to an Enterprise Suite of tools related to management and compliance that can help streamline the process of working with freelancers. 

"Our vision is coming to fruition. We're in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime, tectonic shift in how work gets done and there's no looking back. We were compelled to introduce the work marketplace because when we spoke to customers, it became really clear to us that traditional staffing firms and 'gig' solutions for freelancing are holding back the full potential of this market by perpetuating transactional relationships and commoditizing freelancers," said Brown. 

Brown added that the work marketplace is "just the tip of the iceberg," as the company seeks to continue innovating ways to connect freelancers with enterprises. 

In February the company beat Wall Street expectations, reporting a 33% increase in revenue in the 4th quarter of 2020 with $106.2 million over the final three months of the year. Brown noted at the time that the massive global shift to remote work increased organizations' willingness to hire freelancers regardless of location.

The company has released multiple studies this year showing that thousands of organizations are permanently shifting to teleworking structures even as many get vaccinated against COVID-19.  

"While others have relegated freelancing to 'gig' jobs with weak pay, poor quality work, and a general culture of impermanence, we have always envisioned a better way to work with freelancers at the heart of every business, doing critical work that goes against the old freelancer stereotype and challenges the traditional notions of what makes a workforce and how work gets done," Brown said. 

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