Upwork revenue up 32% in Q3; gross services volume rises 38%

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October 28, 2021

B2B talent platform Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ: UPWK) reported third-quarter revenue rose 32.4% year over year. In addition, gross services volume — which includes both client spend and additional fees charged for other services — rose 38% to reach $904.0 million.

“We are in the early days of the adoption of independent talent and it continues to trend higher,” President and CEO Hayden Brown and CFO Jeff McCombs wrote in a shareholder letter.

They cited several trends they see as positive for the company including the continued war for talent and research that showed half of the Gen Z talent pool is choosing to start their careers in freelance rather than full-time employment.

(US$ thousands) Q3 2021 Q3 2020 % change
Revenue $128,141 $96,748 32.4%
Gross profit $93,208 $70,152 32.9%
Gross margin  72.7% 72.5%  
Net loss ($9,311) ($2,747) nm

Revenue from freelancers rose 28.0% to $75.2 million in the third quarter while revenue from clients rose 39.3% to nearly $53 million.

Revenue by segment

(US$ thousands) Q3 2021 Q3 2020 % change
Marketplace $117,783 $88,040 33.8%
Managed services $10,358 $8,708 18.9%


Upwork is forecasting fourth-quarter revenue of between $130 million and $132 million, an increase of 23% year over year at the midpoint. It also raised its forecast for full-year revenue to between $496 million and $498 million, a year-over-year increase of 33% at the midpoint.

Share price and market cap

Shares in Upwork were down 7.79% to $50.64 as of 12:41 p.m. Eastern time; they were 21.48% below their 52-week low, according to FT.com. The company has a market cap of $7.01 billion.


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