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oDesk and Elance Announce Merger

Redwood City, Calif., Dec. 18, 2013 – oDesk and Elance today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to merge with each other. Both companies are leading marketplaces for online work, connecting businesses with talented freelancers in real time. Their combined efforts will empower people around the world to connect and work together in unprecedented ways, generating new levels of work freedom for freelancers and access to top talent for businesses. The merged company will continue to serve customers on two separate, complementary platforms at odesk.com and elance.com, respectively.

The new entity will be well-positioned to deliver the most advanced tools for hiring and collaborating online, investing more in technology and providing more opportunities for businesses and freelancers everywhere. The company will have a combined global community of more than 8 million freelancers and 2 million businesses in over 180 countries, with an estimated $750 million in billings in 2013.“This merger is a landmark in the evolution of work,” said oDesk chief executive officer Gary Swart.

“With 2.7 billion people now connected online, people are hungry for more freedom to work flexibly and for teams to come together more easily.The $422 billion global staffing market is ripe for reinvention. With online work growing at least ten times more rapidly than staffing overall, oDesk is thrilled to join with Elance in order to innovate faster.”

“We are merging two great companies that aspire to connect the world through work and create more economic and social opportunity,” said Elance chief executive officer Fabio Rosati. “Just as Amazon reinvented retail, and Apple iTunes transformed the music industry, we will greatly improve how businesses hire and people work online. This merger will create unprecedented access and flexibility for people to find job opportunities regardless of their location, and will allow businesses of all sizes to more easily access the best available talent.”The expected key strategic benefits of the merger include:

  • Significant investments in technology, including tools for more effective hiring, seamless online collaboration, improved mobile accessibility and skills development.
  • Higher quality results for all customers. Combining our engineering and data science expertise will deliver quality improvements including better-matched freelancers for businesses and superior job recommendations for freelancers.
  • Accelerated growth and scale. The global staffing market is enormous and is transitioning online. Combined, the companies will be able to help accelerate this transition, empowering businesses and individuals with the flexibility they need to flourish.

Fabio Rosati will serve as chief executive officer of the combined company, and oDesk executive chairman Thomas Layton will continue in the same role of the combined company. Gary Swart will act as a strategic advisor. The name of the new company post-merger will be announced after the deal closes. The closing of the merger is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, and is expected to occur in the next four months. For more information, please view the frequently asked questions.

About oDesk

oDesk is a leading online workplace that enables the world’s best talent and the world’s best businesses to work together, regardless of where they happen to be. Over a million businesses are registered on oDesk, and nearly five million freelancers, who offer any type of skill that can be done via the Internet. In 2013, oDesk reached more than $1 billion of work completed cumulatively via its platform. oDesk is a registered trademark of oDesk Corporation.Headquartered in Redwood City, California, oDesk is a privately held company. For more information, visit oDesk.com and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Elance

Elance is where people Work Differently™. A pioneer in today's freelance revolution, Elance is a leading marketplace for online work. Today over 800,000 businesses and 3 million freelancers use Elance in 170+ countries. Innovative global enterprises, small businesses and startups tap into the Elance talent pool, building teams from software engineers, application developers and web and graphic designers to copywriters, market researchers, data scientists, social media marketers, customer service agents and other business professionals. More than 1.3 million freelance jobs are posted through Elance annually.Headquartered in Mountain View, California with offices in Oslo, Norway, Elance is a privately held company. For more information, visit Elance.com and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

No Offer or Solicitation

This announcement is for informational purposes only and is neither an offer to purchase, nor a solicitation of an offer to sell, subscribe for or buy any securities or the solicitation of any vote in any jurisdiction pursuant to the proposed transaction or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law.

Media Contacts:


Shoshana Deutschkron

Director, Communications

Phone: +1 650 853 4152

Email: shoshd (at) odesk dot com


Lauren SchulteDirector,

Marketing Communications

Phone: +1 650 316 7433

Email: lschulte (at) elance dot com