Sources: freelancing startup Upwork has confidentially filed to go public (Theodore Schleifer/Recode)

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Startups that have long grown as private companies are sprinting to the booming, safe stock market of 2018 — and now it’s Upwork’s turn.

One of the more prominent startups in the so-called “gig economy,” Upwork has confidentially filed for its initial public offering, Recode has learned. That means you can expect Upwork to become a public company in the next few months, according to people familiar with the matter, unless the startup gets pulls back its plans, or gets acquired.

Upwork stands to grow as workplaces become more and more digital and out-of-office. Upwork connects freelancers — typically those in the creative world, such as graphic designers or computer programmers — to employers looking to shell out cash to complete a few odd jobs. Think of it like a TaskRabbit or Thumbtack for remote, more brainy work.

Upwork makes its money by taking a cut of the cash paid to the freelancer. The company hasn’t disclosed any revenue figures, but it has flirted with a billion-dollar valuation in the past (that is before one of its own investors slashed estimates of its value.) So, this is poised to be a marquee IPO of the second half of 2018.

Upwork, led by CEO Stephane Kasriel, did not respond to requests for comment. The company is the product of a 2013 merger between two prior, similar companies: Elance and oDesk.

Even if you don’t care about the changing nature of the workplace or about one particular company like Upwork, you should care about this: After years of America’s most promising startups staying private and making money only for venture capitalists, this year we’ve seen a rush of technology companies finally pull the trigger on IPOs.

That means that everyday people can now share the stock market gains (and, yes, the losses) of Silicon Valley companies.


This post was originally published here