Elance and oDesk are two of the largest online freelancer marketplaces right now. The two companies are merging to form a company that has 10 million workers in 180 countries with $750 million in 2013 billings. Under the terms of the agreement, both websites will continue operating under independent brands. The deal is dependent on regulatory approval and is expected to happen within the next four months.
?Our two communities have preferences and unique differences,? said Elance CEO Fabio Rosati. ?We will honor the communities and support the two brands. But underneath there are synergies in investments in data science, trust and safety, mobile technology, education and many other things.?
Rosati will remain as CEO of the combined company and oDesk CEO Gary Swart will become a strategic advisor. oDesk has one million businesses and 5 million freelancers whereas Elance has 800,000 businesses and 3 million freelancers.
Elance and oDesk have been competitors for years yet they are close by proximity. They are just a few exits apart on Highway 101 – Elance is in Mountain View, California and oDesk is in Redwood City, California.
?The more we got together over the past couple years the more we realized that, though competitors, these are decent people,? stated Swart. ?We?re on the same mission. We?ve made $2 billion combined to date of a $422 billion global staffing opportunity.?