Cloud Stocks: Upwork Improves Monetization

Another important change is that Upwork has a new CEO, Hayden Brown, who took over the reins from January 1st of this year. Hayden was previously the Chief Marketing and Product Officer of Upwork. To revive the company growth to 20%, she is following a three-pronged strategy: attract more, bigger clients; enable more spend per client; and make more high-quality matches, particularly in its technical categories of web, mobile, and software development.

During the earnings call, she clarified the misconception that Upwork is a site for hiring freelancers for small gigs. In reality, over 85% of its more than $2 billion GSV in 2019 was derived from large engagements and complex projects, not small gig work. About 40% of projects are for technical mobile development and software development, and 30% of its clients are Fortune 500 companies.

Last month, Upwork launched a new brand campaign, which targets professional staffing buyers and showcases Upwork platform’s strengths for longer term, high quality work with rated, reviewed talent. To ensure that it is attracting and converting the right clients, Upwork is optimizing its lead funnel for sales, as well as innovating its self-service client on-boarding experience.

Focusing on large enterprise clients is good, but another potential growth area is tech startups that use virtual teams excessively to keep costs down. In an earlier post, I had suggested that Upwork should focus on this virtual trend and build an accelerator for startups on its platform that have a high potential for fast growth. 

Its stock is currently trading at $7.4 with a market capitalization of $843.1 million. It touched a 52-week high of $20.9 in May, last year. The stock hit a 52-week low of $5.14 earlier this month.

Upwork had listed in October 2018 at a list price of $15, and a valuation of $1.5 billion. Prior to the listing, Upwork had raised $170 million in funding from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates, Stripes Group, Pequot Capital, Citigroup, Focus Ventures, T. Rowe Price, Sigma Partners, Benchmark, Globespan Capital Partners, DAG Ventures, and SV Angel.

View single page >> |

Disclosure: This segment is a part in the series: Cloud Stocks

Sramana Mitra is the founder of One Million by One Million (1M/1M), a ...

How did you like this article? Let us know so we can better customize your reading experience.


Leave a comment to automatically be entered into our contest to win a free Echo Show.