How much revenue does Upwork make?
Upwork is a freelance platform founded in 2015 as the result of the merger of two existing freelance platforms: oDesk (founded 2003) and Elance (founded 1998).
Upwork is the largest freelance marketplace platform worldwide with $618 million in annual revenue. The platform has 814,000 active clients and a Gross Services Volume (total marketplace transactions) of over $4.1 billion.
Want to learn more? Read on to get Upwork revenue statistics in 2023 and Upwork user stats.
Table of Contents
Upwork Key Stats
- Upwork’s gross services volume from job postings on the platform amounted to 4.1 billion in 2022.
- Upwork’s revenue was 618.3 million in 2022.
- Revenue is expected to grow to $665-$675 million in 2023.
- 822,000 active clients use Upwork, and spend $4,987 on average per year.
- The biggest freelancing countries are USA, India, and the Philippines, which together represent 45.6% of Upwork’s freelancer revenue.
- The highest-growth job categories on Upwork include Sales & Business Development (54% growth), Data Entry (47%), Accounting (45%), and 3D Animation (44%).
- ~50% of Fortune 500 companies use Upwork.
- Upwork has grown by 23.0% year-over-year.
Upwork is the world’s largest work marketplace.
Its revenue model is simple:
Clients (individuals, SMEs and enterprises) post freelance projects on Upwork. Freelancers respond to these projects. When clients hire them, they pay a small one-time contract fee and a processing fee for each payment (between 3-5%). As of 2024, all freelancers will pay 10% of their Upwork earnings.
What is Upwork annual revenue?
Upwork’s revenue in 2022 was $618.32 million.
But what will Upwork’s revenue be in 2023?
According to its most recent quarterly reports, Upwork made:
|Q2 (2023)||Q2 (2022)|
|$168.6 million||$156.9 million|
|Q1 (2023)||Q1 (2022)|
|$148.1 million||$129.4 million|
|Q4 (2022)||Q4 (2021)|
|$161.4 million||$136.9 million|
|Q3 (2022)||Q3 (2021)|
|$158.6 million||$128.1 million|
In 2023, Upwork expects to report revenue of $665-$675 million.
Upwork Revenue Growth
Year over year, Upwork has grown by 27.3% over the past 4 years (compound annual growth rate, or CAGR).
Year-over-Year Revenue Growth
In 2023, Upwork is expected to grow by 7.5%-9.2%.
But what is Upwork’s quarterly growth rate?
In 2022, Upwork’s revenue grew, on average, by 23% every quarter.
Upwork Gross Services Volume
The Gross Services Volume (the overall revenue from transactions on the platform, or GSV) was $4.1 billion in 2022.
The first quarter of 2022 was the first time Upwork’s quarterly GSV exceeded $1 billion.
Here’s what GSV growth has looked like year over year:
Upwork Marketplace Revenue
Upwork’s marketplace revenue represents the majority of the company’s total revenue. It comprises freelancer service commissions and client payment processing and administration fees.
In 2022, the marketplace revenue was 566.623 million.
Year over year, here’s how marketplace revenue has grown:
Upwork’s Marketplace Take Rate (the amount of money that Upwork retains from marketplace transactions) is calculated by dividing marketplace revenue by marketplace Gross Services Volume.
In 2022, Upwork’s marketplace take rate was 14.0%.
In March 2023, Upwork announced changes to its marketplace fee structure, reflecting a 10% flat freelancer service fee which would replace the previous 20%-10%-5% freelancer service fee model, together with a one-time client fee for new contracts.
Here’s how Upwork’s marketplace take rate has evolved since 2018:
|Year||Marketplace take rate|
Upwork Freelance User Statistics
Who uses Upwork?
Upwork doesn’t disclose the number of freelancers on its platform.
The latest figure is 16 million from 2018 (unconfirmed).
In 2022, these freelancers made 4.1 billion on the platform.
The countries that generated the most money on the freelancer side in 2022:
|Rest of the world||$162.0 million|
From 2018-2022, the revenue per country has grown as follows:
|Rest of the world||80.39%|
|Rest of the world||90.26%|
|Rest of the world||109.81%|
|Rest of the world||33.78%|
|Rest of the world||10.29%|
The US, India and the Philippines are Upwork’s core freelancing markets, with a growing share coming from Rest of World countries.
Upwork Client Statistics
822,000 active clients use Upwork. Active clients have had spend activity on Upwork in the last 12 months.
How many jobs are posted on Upwork by these clients?
Upwork doesn’t provide statistics on the number of job posts, but anecdotal evidence suggests there are typically between 200,000 to 250,000 freelance job postings on Upwork at any given time.
Active client growth in recent years has been:
As of 2023, Upwork had over 350 Enterprise clients. Over 30% of the Fortune 100 and ~50% of Fortune 500 companies are Upwork clients.
In 2023, Enterprise clients represented $48.3 million of Upwork’s total revenue (7.82%).
Upwork Freelancer Revenue
Upwork made $334.7 million from freelancers in 2022. Upwork makes just over half of its $618.3 million revenue from the freelancer side (54.12%).
Freelancers pay a commission on their earnings, as well as withdrawal fees, Upwork connects (tokens to apply for jobs), and membership fees.
Upwork Client Revenue
Nearly half of Upwork’s revenue comes from employers, $283.6 million.
Upwork has historically maintained strong client spend retention (the amount clients spent in the last 12 months compared to the previous year) at 102% in 2020 and 102% in 2019.
As of June 2021, >80% of Upwork’s Gross Services Volume came from Core Clients (those who spent $5,000+ in the last 12 months), which represented >20% of its clients.
Upwork Revenue Per Client
Upwork refers to clients that have spent money on the platform within the past 12 months as “Active Clients.”
Here is Upwork’s gross services volume (GSV) per active client:
|Year||GSV per active client||Growth|
Is Upwork Profitable?
No, Upwork is not profitable.
In 2022, Upwork’s net losses were $89.9 million.
Since 2019, net losses significantly increased. Here are Upwork’s net losses from 2018-2022:
Upwork Top Job Categories
Freelancers offer over 10,000 skills on Upwork in 90+ categories of work.
The most popular categories are:
- Website and App Development
- Client Support
- Sales & Marketing
- Creative & Design
- Finance & Accounting
As of March 31st, 2023, Upwork freelancers had earned over $20 billion in total since Upwork’s inception.
Upwork Highest-Growth Job Categories
|Sales & Business Development||54%|
Upwork CEO and Board Diversity
Upwork’s CEO since January 1st, 2020, Hayden Brown, is female, as are 50% of Upwork’s board of directors. 63% are from underrepresented communities.
At the end of 2022, Upwork had 850 employees. Subsequently in May 2023, Upwork announced it would be eliminating approximately 137 roles – or 15% of Upwork’s entire workforce – together with an unspecified reduction in its freelance workforce positions.
In 2021, the platform had 650 employees versus 540 in 2020.
Upwork also uses a tremendous number of freelancers to operate its business. In 2022, it worked with 1,950 freelancers.
In 2020, the number was 1,500 and in 2021, 1,800. In other words, the number of freelancers contracted directly by Upwork has increased by around 14% every year.
Roughly 3/4 of Upwork’s workforce is made up of freelancers, and 100% of Upwork’s departments use a hybrid work model.
Upwork Funding & Capital Raises
Upwork received $168.8 million in funding in 12 funding rounds up until its IPO.
Upwork went public on Nasdaq in October 2018 at an initial price of $15.00 / share. In the IPO, the company raised $187 million at a roughly $1.5 billion valuation.
As of 2023, Upwork has raised $592 million in equity.
Currently, Upwork is listed on Nasdaq (UPWK) with a share price of $9.97.
Upwork Key Competitors
Upwork lists several companies as its key competitors:
- Platform-first service model: Fiverr, Toptal, Catalant, Vettery, Guru, Freelancer.com, Indeed
- Traditional staffing service model: Robert Half, Adecco, Randstad
Upwork vs Fiverr
One of Upwork’s biggest competitors is Fiverr. But how do the two platforms compare?
Fiverr was founded in 2010. The platform had 4.3 million active buyers in 2022 (compared to Upwork’s 814,000 at the end of 2022).
However, Upwork processes more transaction volume each year. In 2022, Fiverr processed circa $1.1 billion worth of transactions, which compares to Upwork’s $4.1 billion.
Fiverr’s revenue was $337.37 million in 2022. Upwork’s revenue was $618.32 million.
However, here’s what Upwork’s growth looked like from 2020-2022:
Meanwhile, Fiverr grew much faster in that same period, with a noticeable growth slowdown in 2022:
Buyers on Fiverr spent an average of $262 in 2022. By comparison, Upwork’s active clients spent $5,045 in 2022, which is 19.3x what an average Fiverr buyer spent.
Fiverr takes 20% of freelancer earnings, while Upwork has shifted to a flat 10% fee on all freelance earnings from 2024.
Currently, Upwork trades for $9.97 per share, Fiverr at $28.55.
Right now, Upwork’s revenue is almost double Fiverr’s revenue. Although Fiverr has grown faster in the past, revenue growth slowed substantially in 2022.
The question is: will Upwork successfully grow its GMV by focusing on higher-value & enterprise projects, not compete with Fiverr for most of its users? Or will Fiverr succeed in returning to its former aggressive growth rates and grow past Upwork as it moves upmarket into larger projects?
The Upwork Opportunity
With $4.1 billion (and growing!) going through the platform every year, and only 10% fees even if you’re a beginner, there’s never been a better time to get started on Upwork.
If you’re thinking about starting, check out these articles:
That’s all for our roundup of Upwork revenue and user statistics in 2023!
Upwork is the world’s biggest work marketplace with users in 180+ countries.
Although Upwork has grown fast in the past, it hasn’t achieved profitability yet, and continues to sustain deeper losses while facing competition from other work marketplaces like Fiverr, Toptal, and Catalant.
With such growth, it’s no surprise Upwork is the #1 freelancing platform in the world.
But will it remain on top?
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