Elance and oDesk 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 elance.com and odesk.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.
“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.”
“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.”
The expected key strategic benefits of the merger include:
- Significant investments in technology. This includes 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.