Upwork (UPWK)

Upwork is the world's largest work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent, as measured by GSV. We serve everyone from one-person startups to 30% of the Fortune 100 with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and freelancers to work together in new ways that unlock their potential. Our talent community earned over $2 billion on Upwork in 2019 across more than 8,000 skills, including website & app development, creative & design, customer support, finance & accounting, consulting, and operations.

Company profile

Hayden Brown
Fiscal year end
Former names
Upwork Inc.
Elance, Inc. • Upwork Global Inc. • Upwork Talent Group Inc. • Upwork Escrow Inc. • Elance Limited • UPW Holdco, Inc. • Upwork Payments Inc. ...
IRS number

UPWK stock data


27 Apr 22
29 Jun 22
31 Dec 22
Quarter (USD) Mar 22 Dec 21 Sep 21 Jun 21
Cost of revenue
Operating income
Operating margin
Net income
Net profit margin
Cash on hand
Change in cash
Diluted EPS
Annual (USD) Dec 21 Dec 20 Dec 19 Dec 18
Cost of revenue
Operating income
Operating margin
Net income
Net profit margin
Cash on hand
Change in cash
Diluted EPS
Cash burn rate (est.) Burn method: Change in cash Burn method: Operating income Burn method: FCF (opex + capex)
Last Q Avg 4Q Last Q Avg 4Q Last Q Avg 4Q
Cash on hand (at last report) 321.59M 321.59M 321.59M 321.59M 321.59M 321.59M
Cash burn (monthly) 10.16M (no burn) 8.24M 6.08M 3.83M 209.67K
Cash used (since last report) 30.12M n/a 24.43M 18.04M 11.34M 621.79K
Cash remaining 291.48M n/a 297.17M 303.55M 310.25M 320.97M
Runway (months of cash) 28.7 n/a 36.1 49.9 81.1 1530.9

Beta Read what these cash burn values mean

Date Owner Security Transaction Code Indirect 10b5-1 $Price #Shares $Value #Remaining
21 Jun 22 Hayden Brown Common Stock Sell Dispose S No No 19.2595 30,455 586.55K 833,489
18 Jun 22 Hayden Brown Common Stock Option exercise Acquire M No No 0 54,395 0 863,944
18 Jun 22 Hayden Brown Common Stock Option exercise Acquire M No No 0 3,860 0 809,549
18 Jun 22 Hayden Brown RSU Common Stock Option exercise Dispose M No No 0 54,395 0 326,371
18 Jun 22 Hayden Brown RSU Common Stock Option exercise Dispose M No No 0 3,860 0 11,580
2 Jun 22 Harvey Kevin Common Stock Grant Acquire A No No 0 3,030 0 55,145
2 Jun 22 Harvey Kevin Common Stock Grant Acquire A No No 0 10,192 0 52,115
2 Jun 22 Gregory C. Gretsch Common Stock Grant Acquire A No No 0 3,030 0 239,849
2 Jun 22 Gregory C. Gretsch Common Stock Grant Acquire A No No 0 10,192 0 236,819
2 Jun 22 Nelson Elizabeth A Common Stock Grant Acquire A No No 0 10,192 0 14,261
71.7% owned by funds/institutions
13F holders Current Prev Q Change
Total holders 222 265 -16.2%
Opened positions 28 55 -49.1%
Closed positions 71 65 +9.2%
Increased positions 77 82 -6.1%
Reduced positions 84 88 -4.5%
13F shares Current Prev Q Change
Total value 2.16B 4.08B -47.1%
Total shares 92.93M 94.53M -1.7%
Total puts 772K 1.33M -41.8%
Total calls 893.5K 979K -8.7%
Total put/call ratio 0.9 1.4 -36.3%
Largest owners Shares Value Change
Vanguard 10.74M $249.61M -0.2%
BLK Blackrock 7.83M $181.9M -2.1%
Jackson Square Partners 7.49M $174.09M +22.9%
Baillie Gifford & Co 6.43M $149.52M +2.0%
TROW T. Rowe Price 6.08M $141.19M -39.5%
MS Morgan Stanley 3.39M $78.75M +23.8%
Greenoaks Capital Partners 3.21M $74.67M +265.1%
Hawk Ridge Capital Management 2.63M $61.14M NEW
FMR 2.35M $54.69M -23.0%
STT State Street 2.35M $54.64M +1.9%
Largest transactions Shares Bought/sold Change
TROW T. Rowe Price 6.08M -3.97M -39.5%
Hawk Ridge Capital Management 2.63M +2.63M NEW
Greenoaks Capital Partners 3.21M +2.33M +265.1%
Jackson Square Partners 7.49M +1.39M +22.9%
JHG Janus Henderson 2.31M +1.23M +115.0%
Norges Bank 0 -1.23M EXIT
Ancient Art 2.13M +1.14M +115.7%
Southpoint Capital Advisors 0 -1.1M EXIT
Citadel Advisors 309.86K -1.07M -77.6%

Financial report summary

  • Our growth depends on our ability to attract and retain a community of talent and clients, and the failure to maintain or grow our community of users could adversely impact our business.
  • If we fail to maintain or increase activity by existing users in a cost-effective manner or at all, our revenue will grow more slowly than expected or may decline and our business will be adversely impacted.
  • We have experienced growth in recent periods and expect to continue to invest in our growth for the foreseeable future. If we are unable to maintain similar levels of growth or manage our growth effectively, our business, revenue and profits, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and our decision to suspend our business operations in Russia and Belarus have affected and may continue to affect our business and results of operations.
  • Our business experienced, and may again experience, an adverse impact from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including as new variants of COVID-19 emerge. In addition, the positive impacts on our business resulting from the shift to remote work during the pandemic may not continue as the pandemic subsides and the restrictions intended to prevent its spread are relaxed or lifted.
  • We face payment and fraud risks that could adversely impact our business.
  • We have a limited operating history under our current business strategy and pricing model, and will continue to evolve our business strategy and pricing model, which makes it difficult to evaluate our business and future prospects.
  • Changes to our offerings and pricing model have in the past adversely affected, and could in the future adversely affect, our business.
  • If we are unable to maintain our payment partner relationships on favorable terms, or at all, our business could be adversely affected.
  • Our revenue growth and ability to achieve and sustain profitability will depend in part on being able to increase the productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency of our sales force.
  • Our revenue growth depends in part on the success of our strategic relationships with third parties and their continued performance.
  • We are subject to disputes with or between users of our work marketplace.
  • Our business depends largely on our ability to attract and retain talented employees, including senior management and key personnel. If we lose the services of Hayden Brown, our President and Chief Executive Officer, or other members of our senior management team or key personnel, we may not be able to execute on our business strategy.
  • Clients sometimes fail to pay their invoices, necessitating action by us to compel payment.
  • We may be unable to integrate acquired businesses and technologies successfully or to achieve the expected benefits of such acquisitions. We may acquire or invest in additional companies, which may divert our management’s attention, result in additional dilution to our stockholders, and consume resources that are necessary to sustain our business.
  • Our inability to generate revenue from our marketplace offerings, which represents a substantial majority of our total revenue, would adversely affect our business operations, financial results, and growth prospects.
  • We face intense competition and could lose market share to our competitors, which could adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.
  • If we fail to develop, maintain, and enhance our brand and reputation cost-effectively, our business and financial condition may be adversely affected.
  • If the market for independent talent and the services they offer develops more slowly than we expect, our growth may slow or stall, and our operating results could be adversely affected.
  • If we are not able to develop and release new offerings and services, or develop and release successful enhancements, new features, and modifications to our existing offerings and services, our business could be adversely affected.
  • Because a substantial portion of the services offered by talent and sought by clients on our work marketplace is information technology services, a decline in talent offering information technology services or the market for information technology service providers on our work marketplace could adversely affect our business.
  • If we or our third-party partners experience a security breach, other hacking or phishing attack, ransomware or other malware attack, or other privacy or security incident, whether intentionally or unintentionally caused by us or by third parties, our work marketplace may be perceived as not being secure, our reputation may be harmed, demand for our work marketplace may be reduced, our operations may be disrupted, we may incur significant legal costs, fines, or liabilities, and our business could be adversely affected.
  • Our sales efforts are increasingly primarily targeted at large enterprise and other clients and prospects with larger, longer-term independent talent needs, and as a result we may encounter greater pricing, implementation, and customization challenges, and we may incur additional costs, each of which could adversely impact our business and operating results.
  • Users circumvent our work marketplace, which adversely impacts our business.
  • If internet search engines’ methodologies or other channels that we utilize to direct traffic to our website are modified to our disadvantage, or our search result page rankings decline for other reasons, our user growth could decline.
  • Errors, defects, or disruptions in our work marketplace could diminish demand, adversely impact our financial results, and subject us to liability.
  • Our ability to attract and retain users is dependent in part on ease of use and reliability of our work marketplace and the quality of our support, and any failure to offer high-quality support could adversely impact our business, operating results, and financial condition.
  • We rely on AWS to deliver our work marketplace to our users, and any disruption of service from AWS or material change to our arrangement with AWS could adversely affect our business.
  • Our user growth and engagement on mobile devices depend upon third parties maintaining open application marketplaces and effective operation with mobile operating systems, networks, and standards that we do not control.
  • We and our users may be subject to new and existing laws and regulations, both in the United States and internationally.
  • Having an international community of users and engaging talent internationally exposes us to risks that could have an adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition, and these risks could increase as we seek to expand our international footprint.
  • There may be adverse tax, legal, and other consequences if the contractor classification or employment status of talent that use our work marketplace is challenged.
  • The regulatory landscape regarding contractor classification is rapidly changing, and changes in these laws could adversely affect demand for our services and work marketplace and adversely affect our business.
  • Changes in laws or regulations relating to privacy or the protection, collection, storage, processing, transfer, or use of personal information, or any actual or perceived failure by us to comply with such laws and regulations or our privacy policies, could adversely affect our business.
  • We may be subject to escrow, payment services, and money transmitter regulations that may adversely affect our business.
  • Failure to comply with anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, and sanctions laws, and similar laws associated with our activities outside of the United States, could subject us to penalties and other adverse consequences.
  • We may be required to comply with governmental export control laws and regulations. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations could have an adverse effect on our business and operating results.
  • We are vulnerable to intellectual property infringement claims and challenges to our intellectual property rights brought against us by third parties.
  • Failure to protect our intellectual property could adversely affect our business.
  • Our work marketplace contains open source software components, and failure to comply with the terms of the underlying licenses could restrict our ability to market or operate our work marketplace.
  • Litigation could have a material adverse impact on our operating results and financial condition.
  • We have a history of net losses, anticipate increasing our operating expenses in the future, and may not achieve or sustain profitability.
  • Our operating results may fluctuate from quarter to quarter, which makes our future results difficult to predict.
  • We track certain performance metrics with internal tools and do not independently verify such metrics. Certain of our performance metrics may not accurately reflect certain details of our
  • business, are subject to inherent challenges in measurement, and real or perceived inaccuracies in such metrics may harm our reputation and negatively affect our business.
  • If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable laws and regulations could be impaired.
  • The applicability of sales, use, and other tax laws or regulations on our business is uncertain. Adverse tax laws or regulations could be enacted or existing laws could be interpreted as applying or otherwise applied to us or users of our work marketplace, which could subject us or
  • our users to additional tax liability and related interest and penalties, and adversely impact our business.
  • If currency exchange rates fluctuate substantially in the future, the results of our operations, which are reported in U.S. dollars, could be adversely affected.
  • Our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes is limited.
  • We may require additional capital to fund our business and support our growth, including in connection with any future acquisitions or strategic investments, and any inability to generate or obtain such capital may adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.
  • The stock price of our common stock has been and may continue to be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
  • Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public markets, particularly sales by our directors, executive officers, and significant stockholders, or the perception that these sales could occur, could cause the market price of our common stock to decline and may make it more difficult for you to sell your common stock at a time and price that you deem appropriate.
  • We do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future.
  • Provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of our company more difficult, limit attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management, limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or employees, and limit the market price of our common stock.
  • Our indebtedness could limit the cash flow available for our operations and expose us to risks that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
  • The capped call transactions may affect the value of our common stock.
  • Adverse or changing economic conditions may negatively impact our business.
  • We may be adversely affected by natural disasters and other catastrophic events, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, by man-made problems such as terrorism, or failures of technology, that could disrupt our business operations and our business continuity and disaster recovery plans may not adequately protect us from a serious disaster.
Management Discussion
  • In 2021, we continued to evolve our offerings, brand positioning, and marketing to better address large enterprise and other clients and prospects with larger, longer-term independent talent needs. We prioritized our advertising, marketing, and offering development efforts to reach those new and existing clients seeking to engage remote talent in light of the shift toward remote work, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of these efforts, our work marketplace enabled $3.5 billion of GSV in 2021, representing a year-over-year increase of 41%, and we experienced increases in user acquisition and the number of active clients, which fueled marketplace revenue. For the year ended December 31, 2021, marketplace revenue increased by $124.2 million, or 37%, compared to 2020. Additionally, we increased our investment in brand marketing and to a lesser extent, our investment in sales by expanding our sales team. We generated a net loss of $56.2 million in 2021 compared to a net loss of $22.9 million in 2020. Our adjusted EBITDA was $19.1 million in 2021, an increase of 36% from 2020. Adjusted EBITDA is a financial measure that is not prepared in accordance with, and is not an alternative to, financial measures prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. See “—Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for the definition of adjusted EBITDA and information regarding our use of adjusted EBITDA and a reconciliation of net loss to adjusted EBITDA.

Content analysis

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