Upwork Revenue and Client Stats (2021)

Upwork Revenue and Client Stats (2021)

Brian Dean

by Brian Dean · Updated May. 13, 2021

Upwork Revenue and Client Stats

Upwork is a leading freelance marketplace.

Launched in 2015 following a merger between Elance and oDesk, the company surpassed $1 billion in annual gross services volume that same year.

Today, more than 145 thousand core active clients fill freelance positions using Upwork, spending a combined total of over $2.5 billion per year.

So how big is Upwork? And who uses this freelance platform?

From revenue to headcount, here’s a summary of what you’ll find on this page:

Key Upwork Stats

  • Upwork has 145.4 thousand core active clients spending at least $5,000 per year.
  • Employers on Upwork spend a combined $2.52 billion annually.
  • Upwork generates 80% of its gross services volume from 20% of total clients.
  • In 2020, Upwork reported revenue of $373.63 million.
  • Upwork has 540 employees.

Upwork core clients

Upwork defines “core clients” as employers with all-time platform spending of at least $5,000, including some activity within the last 12 months.

Upwork currently has 145.4 thousand core clients.

Upwork has 145.4 thousand core clients

Since 2016, the core client base has grown by 90.06%. That’s a net increase of 68.9 thousand new clients.

Upwork core clients

Here’s a table showing the number of Upwork core clients since 2015:

Year Core clients
2015 74 thousand
2016 76.5 thousand
2017 86.4 thousand
2018 105.5 thousand
2019 124.4 thousand
2020 145.4 thousand

Source: Upwork.

Upwork gross services volume

Gross services volume (GSV) is the total value of all payments made on Upwork, including the money paid to freelancers and the fees retained by the platform.

Upwork processed $2.52 billion in gross services volume in 2020. That’s an increase of 20.57% over the previous year.

Upwork gross services volume

Upwork’s GSV has increased 2.19x since 2016.

More than 80% of gross services volume (approximately $2.02 billion) comes from the 145.4 thousand “core” clients who have spent over $5000 since joining the platform. Core clients make up roughly 20% of the total Upwork client base.

Around 80% of Upwork GSV is generated from small and medium-sized businesses (employers with a headcount of less than 100).

We’ve charted Upwork’s gross merchandise value since 2016:

Year Gross services volume
2016 $1.15 billion
2017 $1.37 billion
2018 $1.76 billion
2019 $2.09 billion
2020 $2.52 billion

Source: Upwork.

Upwork revenue

Upwork brings in revenue of $373.63 million per year. That’s an increase of 24.31% since 2019.

Upwork revenue

Over the past 4 years, Upwork’s revenue has grown at a CAGR of 22.4%.

Here’s a table with complete data on Upwork’s annual revenue since 2016:

Year Revenue
2016 $166.44 million
2017 $202.55 million
2018 $253.35 million
2019 $300.56 million
2020 $373.63 million

Source: Upwork.

Upwork revenue by segment

Upwork generates revenue from two sources: its marketplace and its managed services.

Marketplace revenue includes service and administration fees paid by both freelancers and employers.

Managed services revenue consists of markup fees for services where Upwork directly engages a suitable freelancer on behalf of a client.

Upwork’s marketplace generated $338.15 million in 2020, representing 90.5% of the company’s total revenue.

Upwork’s marketplace revenue represents 90.5% of the company’s total revenue.

Revenue from the Upwork marketplace has grown by 26.04% since 2019.

Upwork marketplace revenue

Here’s a table showing revenue from Upwork’s marketplace since 2016:

Year Marketplace revenue (Share)
2016 $138.48 million (83.2%)
2017 $178.05 million (87.9%)
2018 $223.83 million (88.35%)
2019 $268.28 million (89.26%)
2020 $338.15 million (90.5%)

Meanwhile, Upwork’s managed services revenue reached $35.48 million in 2020. That’s an increase of 9.91% over the previous year.

Upwork managed services revenue

Here’s a table showing Upwork’s managed services revenue since 2016:

Year Managed services revenue (Share)
2016 $25.96 million (16.8%)
2017 $24.5 million (12.1%)
2018 $29.52 million (11.65%)
2019 $32.28 million (10.74%)
2020 $35.48 million (9.5%)

Source: Upwork.

Upwork revenue from freelancers

Upwork generates revenue from fees paid by both freelancers and employers.

Upwork’s revenue from freelancers consists of service charges (a tiered percentage taken from each invoice), withdrawal fees, membership charges, and “connects” (virtual tokens required to apply for jobs).

Upwork’s revenue from freelancers totaled $226.7 million in 2020. That’s 67.86% of total marketplace revenue.

67.86% of Upwork’s total marketplace revenue comes from freelancers

Freelancers with a billing address in the United States contribute $60.86 million per year, a figure which has grown by 21.35% since 2019.

Here’s a table with Upwork’s revenue from US freelancers since 2016:

Year US revenue (Share)
2016 $21.45 million (18.92%)
2017 $26.6 million (20.14%)
2018 $40.31 million (24.69%)
2019 $50.15 million (26.75%)
2020 $60.86 million (26.85%)

Upwork generates $33.1 million in revenue from freelancers in India, representing a 14.6% share of total freelancer revenue.

Here’s a table showing Upwork’s revenue from freelancers with a billing address in India:

Year India revenue (Share)
2016 $20 million (17.64%)
2017 $21.88 million (16.57%)
2018 $25.48 million (15.6%)
2019 $27.37 million (14.6%)
2020 $33.1 million (14.6%)

Upwork brings in $22.92 million from Philippines-based freelancers. The company’s revenue from this country has grown by 16.58% over the previous year.

We’ve charted Upwork’s revenue from freelancers in the Philippines since 2016:

Year Philippines revenue (Share)
2016 $13.39 million (11.81%)
2017 $14.76 million (11.17%)
2018 $17.06 million (10.45%)
2019 $19.66 million (10.49%)
2020 $22.92 million (10.11%)

The US, India, and the Philippines are Upwork’s three core markets. Between them, these countries account for more than half (51.57%) of the company’s total freelancer revenue.

The US, India, and the Philippines account for 51.57% of the company’s total freelancer revenue

Freelancers with a billing address outside of the US, India or the Philippines contribute the remaining 48.43% of Upwork’s total freelancer revenue. In 2020, this amounted to $109.8 million.

Here’s a table showing Upwork’s revenue from freelancers outside of the US, India, and the Philippines since 2016:

Year Rest of world revenue (Share)
2016 $58.52 million (51.61%)
2017 $68.83 million (52.12%)
2018 $80.39 million (49.25%)
2019 $90.26 million (48.15%)
2020 $109.8 million (48.43%)

Source: Upwork.

Upwork revenue from employers

More than two-thirds of Upwork’s marketplace revenue comes from freelancers. But employers on the platform also incur charges.

Upwork’s revenue from employers consists of payment processing and administration fees, currency exchange charges, membership, and service costs.

Upwork clients with a billing address in the US contribute $107.36 million in annual revenue, representing 73.07% of Upwork’s total revenue from employers. US employer revenue has increased by 23.06% since 2019.

Upwork revenue from employers in the US

Here’s a table with Upwork’s revenue from employers in the US since 2016:

Year US revenue (Share)
2016 $42.45 million (83.12%)
2017 $55.18 million (78.28%)
2018 $65.58 million (72.78%)
2019 $87.24 million (77.12%)
2020 $107.36 million (73.07%)

Upwork’s revenue from employers outside of the US reached $39.57 million in 2020, accounting for 26.93% of all employer revenue.

Upwork revenue from international employers

Upwork’s revenue from international employers has increased by 52.9% since 2019, a larger percentage increase than the US market:

Year International revenue (Share)
2016 $8.62 million (16.88%)
2017 $15.3 million (21.72%)
2018 $24.53 million (27.22%)
2019 $25.88 million (22.88%)
2020 $39.57 million (26.93%)

Source: Upwork.

Upwork marketplace take rate

Upwork calculates its “take rate” by dividing marketplace revenue by total gross services volume. In other words, take rate measures the cut of marketplace transactions retained by Upwork.

In 2020, Upwork achieved a 13.6% marketplace take rate. That’s a slight increase from the 12.3% take rate registered in 2016.

In 2020, Upwork achieved a 13.6% marketplace take rate

Here’s a table showing Upwork’s marketplace take rate since 2016:

Year Marketplace take rate
2016 12.3%
2017 13.2%
2018 13.0%
2019 13.1%
2020 13.6%

Source: Upwork.

How many categories are available on Upwork?

Upwork has over 90 categories available on the marketplace. More than 50 categories generate over $10 million in gross services volume.

Source: Upwork.

How many people work at Upwork?

Upwork has 540 employees. The company’s employee count had decreased from 570 in 2019.

Nearly half of Upwork’s employees are a part of the enterprise sales team, which consists of over 250 account executives focused on client acquisition.

Here’s a table with the number of employees at Upwork since 2018:

Year Employees
2018 430
2019 570
2020 540

The estimated average compensation at Upwork is $126,060. The median base salary for Upwork employees on a work-based H1-B visa is $118,955 (based on 15 records).

Upwork regularly engages freelancers in the company’s internal projects. In 2020, approximately 1,500 freelancers worked on Upwork projects. The company’s contractor count has increased by 50% since 2018.

Here’s a table showing the number of freelancers engaged on Upwork projects since 2018:

Year Freelancers
2018 1,000
2018 1,200
2018 1,500

Source: Upwork.

Conclusion

That completes my list of Upwork stats in 2021.

Upwork claims to be the largest work marketplace, generating $2.52 billion per year in gross services volume.

With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, Upwork has continued to grow its revenue and client base.

What do you think about Upwork? How does it stack up to competitors like Fiverr?

And what about the stats included here? If you have any questions or remarks, I’d be pleased to address them.

Don’t hesitate to drop me a line in the comments section below.

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *