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oDesk Announces $8 million Series B Round Led by Benchmark Capital

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eBay venture capital investor taps growing, innovative marketplace for “Remote Work”

oDesk, an Internet startup that provides a marketplace for hiring global technical talent and web-based tools to manage remote teams, announced an $8 million Series B investment led by Benchmark Capital. All previous oDesk investors also participated in the round. The new funds will be used to expand market growth and accelerate product development. Kevin Harvey, general partner at Benchmark Capital, will join the oDesk Board of Directors. A top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Benchmark Capital has been an early investor in leading technology companies such as eBay (EBAY), Handspring (HAND), Juniper Networks (JNPR), Red Hat Software (RHAT), and MySQL.

“oDesk provides businesses instant access to talented developers all over the world, while making it seem like they’re working just a cubicle away,” says Mr. Harvey. “oDesk has a unique approach; they are the only marketplace that offers a rich set of tools to manage remote teams. And fortunately, the time is right. Nearly all of our portfolio companies are building remote teams, and facing the challenges of trust, timezones, and collaboration – exactly the problems that oDesk solves.”

oDesk enables businesses of all sizes to tap the worldwide market for technology expertise. The oDesk network is comprised of thousands of talented programmers, system administrators, web designers, technical writers, and QA engineers from over 50 countries around the world including Russia, Ukraine, and India, as well as the US. Hiring managers can search online profiles of oDesk professionals using a variety of search criteria including technical skills, hourly rate, feedback scores, tests passed, previous work history, and geography. Workers can be hired online instantly, and project managers can use oDesk’s unique management tools to visually track and verify all work performed, both in real-time and historically. Buyers pay weekly using a simple hourly model for both short-term and long-term projects, with no fixed or minimum commitment required.

“Over the past ten years the market for technology skills has become truly global; technical talent is now available in every corner of the world,” says Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk. “The oDesk marketplace and collaboration tools help bring together all these knowledge workers and connect them with the businesses that need their talents. Our vision is to create a dynamic, on demand global workforce, so that any business can build a remote team, and manage them as if they were working together in the very same office. Benchmark Capital has been an early backer of some of the Internet’s most successful businesses, and we’re thrilled they share our enthusiasm for this growing new market and our technology.”

Benchmark Capital joins existing oDesk investors Globespan Capital and Sigma Partners, who also contributed to the round.

About oDesk

oDesk (www.oDesk.com) is a global marketplace for programmers and technical talent that lets businesses build and manage remote teams. Hiring managers can search the oDesk network and choose from among thousands of tested, top-rated technology professionals in over 50 countries around the world. Using oDesk web-based collaboration tools, project managers can visually track and verify all work performed, both historically and in real-time. Everyday, oDesk helps people all over the world work together, as if they were seated in the same office. Founded in 2004, oDesk is located in Menlo Park, CA.

About Benchmark Capital

Founded in 1995, Benchmark Capital is an early-stage venture firm that is dedicated to building technology companies of lasting value. The firm’s strategy is to be the first investor in technology-driven companies that seek to create new markets and have significant growth potential. Benchmark invests in technology-driven companies in the areas of enterprise software and services, communications and security, semiconductors, mobile computing, consumer services and financial services. The firm’s portfolio includes such franchise companies as eBay, Handspring, Juniper Networks and Red Hat Software. For more information, visit www.benchmark.com.

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