|oDesk-Elance Becomes 'UpWork'|
As we already know, oDesk and Elance started out as separate platforms; They announced their merger in December 2013.
Yesterday A new chapter starts for oDesk-Elance, a platform where 4 million businesses connect with 10 million knowledge worker freelancers to fill contract jobs. More than a year after the two competitors merged to form one freelancer powerhouse, and five months after raising $30 million, it is finally re-branding under a new name, UpWork.
As of today, oDesk will disappear and redirect to UpWork, which charges clients the same percentage for paying freelancers are oDesk did. Elance, which charges clients a slightly lower percentage, will continue to operate. “At least for now we are letting people who want to be on Elance stay on Elance,” Kasriel said. Starting now, UpWork will be the main platform, and new users will have to sign up there. Ultimately, the company aims to have a single platform, UpWork, but that change will not be immediate.
Stephane Kasriel Upwork’s new CEO said “We have completed the second chapter of online work,” he says, referring to the establishment of online workplaces like Upwork and other competitors like Freelancer.com, which emerged in the wake of permanent job searches migrating from print to the web. “Now we want to enter the third.”
One key element that will speed the process, says Stephane Kasriel, is the UpWork Message Center, a new chat tool the company has introduced. It can be used by companies that want to chat with a freelancer who is available for immediate work or by clients who want to communicate with teams of freelancers. The UpWork Message Center will be available to anyone who wants to use it, regardless of whether they are signed up for the platform, added Kasriel.