Thursday, 19 December 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Elance and oDesk to Merge!

I just found out today through email that two of the giants of the online freelancing community are all set to merge into one monstrous entity. Ironically enough, I got the news email from BOTH the Elance and oDesk websites signed by the two CEOs themselves.

Freelance oDesk Elance merge
This is obviously big news for anyone following the freelancing industry as well as for those actively practicing freelancing themselves. After all, we are talking about two of the very biggest freelance websites out there!

What makes this merger particularly significant are the numbers involved. Elance has
a user base of over 2 million freelancers active in over 170+ countries and does business with over 500,000 companies both large and small. ODesk boasts even larger activity with over 4.5 million freelancers on the marketplace across 190 countries and a clientele of over 900,000 businesses. Both marketplaces have nonstop activity round the clock with well over 1 million jobs being posted by both in 2012 respectively.

There are also other similarities evident between the two. Both are located in and around Silicon Valley - Elance has their headquarters in Mountain View while oDesk has its base in Redwood City, California. Additionally, while Elance charges 8.75% for all freelance jobs, oDesk charges a flat 10% but compensates for the higher charges with free unlimited bidding and offer submissions.

According to the prepared statements found in both emails, the merger will have strategic benefits for both companies. Such "benefits" include:
greater investment on technology (including including tools for a more effective job search, seamless online collaboration, better mobile support and freelancer skills development)
deeper expertise in data science and higher quality results (improved personalization, user experience and superior job recommendations)
the ability to "accelerate" growth
and increased economies of scale and scope.

Both Fabio Rosati (CEO, Elance) and Gary Swart (CEO, oDesk) have expressed their optimism about the potential synergies involved for the merger. Both CEOs envision a new entity capable of sweeping the freelancing world off its feet - much like Amazon and Apple did for their respective industries.

Although the financial details haven't been announced just yet, what's certain is that the deal with be finalized within 4 months - subject to regulatory approval and necessary closing conditions. The name of the post-merged new company will also be announced after the conclusion of the deal.

Even after the deal is concluded, the platforms will still continue to run independently - that is, users can still login into their accounts separately via and

For a look at what current Elance and oDesk members are saying about the hyper-deal, check out their blogs and FAQs:
Elance Forum
oDesk Blog

As for me, I am anxious to see what happens in the future regarding these two marketplaces. Until then, it's anyone's guess what the future of freelancing will shape out.


  1. Fantastic Blog and Thank you this article has really helped to understand the internet Business a Bit more

    1. @Noor Islam:
      Thank you for the feedback!
      Our number 1 priority is to educate and enlighten others about all things freelancing and internet marketing!
      We hope you enjoy the site!


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