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Upwork Inc (NASDAQ:UPWK) is Asking You for the Benefit of the Doubt

Upwork Inc (NASDAQ:UPWK) just announced its third quarter 2018 financial results. According to the company, Marketplace revenue for the third quarter increased 23% year-over-year to $56.8 million, while managed services revenue was up 21% year-over-year to $7.3 million. The “Take rate”, which the company defines as revenue divided by GSV, in the third quarter was 14.3% net losses compared to 14.8% a year ago.

In addition – and not for the faint of heart — Net loss was $7.3 million compared to a net loss of $0.3 million a year ago.  Non-GAAP net loss was $1.4 million compared to a non-GAAP net income of $1.9 million a year ago. That’s a pretty striking bottom line deterioration, which was no doubt viewed as growing pains, if you’re willing to give the company the benefit of the doubt based on model.

Upwork Inc (NASDAQ:UPWK) trumpets itself as a company that operates an online platform that connects businesses and freelancers. Its platform comprise freelancers in content marketing, customer service, data science and analytics, graphic design, mobile development, sales, and web development categories.

The company was formerly known as Elance-oDesk, Inc. and changed its name to Upwork Inc. in May 2015. Upwork Inc. was incorporated in 2013 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

According to company materials, “Upwork is the largest freelancing website, as measured by GSV, for businesses to find and work with highly-skilled freelancers—a sought after, critical, and expanding component of the global workforce. As an increasingly connected and independent workforce goes online, knowledge work—like software, shopping, and content before it—is shifting online as well. This shift is making it easier for clients to connect and work with talent in near real-time and is freeing professionals everywhere to work where and how they want to. Upwork’s mission is to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. Upwork is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in San Francisco and Chicago. For more information, visit Upwork’s website at, or its Investor Relations website at, or join Upwork on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.”



We started off by noting that UPWK recently hit the wires with the announcement of its Q3 data, which included some sense of “worse now but all the better for the long term”. At least, that seems to be the idea.

UPWK has had a rough past week of trading action, with shares sinking something like -13% in that time. That said, chart support is nearby and we may be in the process of constructing a nice setup for some movement back the other way. Over the past month, shares of the stock have suffered from clear selling pressure, dropping by roughly -8%.

“We are pleased that in our first earnings report as a public company we recorded strength across the business, driven by both new clients and expanded relationships with our core clients,” said Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork.  “Through our innovation, Upwork is a leading force in creating a better future of work. Our continued success is fueling our mission to create economic opportunities so people have better lives.”

Upwork Inc (NASDAQ:UPWK) generated sales of $64.1M, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 0% on the top line. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($134.5M against $160.2M, respectively).

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