All Things oDesk
December 18, 2013 by Gary Swart

Why did oDesk and Elance decide to merge?
Both companies are leading innovators driving the adoption of online work. Combined, we will have the resources to invest in products and services that serve customers better.

For example, specific expected benefits of the merger include:

  • Significant investments in technology, including tools for more effective online hiring, seamless virtual collaboration, improved mobile accessibility and job skills development.
  • Higher quality results. Combining our engineering and data science expertise will deliver quality improvements including better-matched freelancers for clients and superior job recommendations for freelancers.
  • Accelerated growth and scale. The overall global demand for staffing is enormous and is transitioning online. Combined, the companies will be able to help accelerate this transition.

What is the vision for the new combined company?
Just as Amazon reinvented retail, and Apple iTunes transformed the music industry, together oDesk and Elance will revolutionize the way we work. This merger will create unprecedented freedom for people to find job opportunities regardless of their location, and will allow businesses of all sizes to more easily access the best available talent.

What does this mean for current clients and freelancers on oDesk and Elance?
Both and will for now continue to operate as separate, independent services. Your accounts and profile records will not be impacted.

For clients, you will still be able to hire, manage and pay exactly as you have in the past.

For freelancers, your profile and work history and other aspects of your online reputation will not be affected.

After the merger closes, expect accelerated product and quality innovations that help both oDesk and Elance serve you better.

How are you evolving the two platforms so they become more differentiated?
We are inviting feedback from customers on both and, and will be actively incorporating this feedback into differentiating innovations on the platforms moving forward.

Will there be more competition for good jobs among freelancers as a result of this merger?
As both and will continue to operate as separate, distinct online work marketplaces for now, we don’t anticipate any changes in freelancer competition due to the merger. Our goal is to increase the number of jobs available for freelancers as we attract more businesses to hire online.

How much work is happening on oDesk and Elance?
Freelancers will earn about $750 million on the two sites in 2013.

How does this company fit into the overall market for hiring and staffing?
Global staffing is a $422 billion market (according to Staffing Industry Analysts) that we believe is ripe for reinvention. Online work, any type of work that can be done via the Internet, is an emerging sector within it that SIA predicts will reach $5 billion by 2018.

Who will lead the new company?
oDesk executive chairman Thomas Layton will continue in the same role at the combined company, and Elance CEO Fabio Rosati will serve as chief executive officer.

What will the new combined company be called?
As the merger is not yet complete, it’s too early to say. The name will be announced after the deal closes.

Will any of the features I’m used to go away?
We update our platforms on a regular basis and will continue to do so, but clients will still be able to hire, manage and pay as they have in the past, and freelancers’ profile, work history, etc. will not be affected. Login information will remain the same.

Will there be any change in fees or membership structures?
None are planned.

What’s the timeline for concluding the deal?
The closing of the merger is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, and is expected to occur in the next four months.

Gary Swart

Chief Executive Officer

Gary Swart is the CEO of oDesk, the world’s largest online workplace. Gary is a thought leader in entrepreneurship; how best to hire and manage teams; and the future of work, including online work. He is passionate about helping small businesses thrive, fueled by his extensive experience working with startups and small businesses that use oDesk, as well as by mentoring entrepreneurs and business school… read more

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  • Muddabir Aziz

    IS there a possibility that feedback history from elance can be
    reflected here at odesk or odesk history can be refelected there on
    elance ?

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  • Neuron


    Personally, we don’t like this idea. oDesk is very transparent and it’s customer support is very supportive. We have used Elance but are not happy with it’s platform and have bad experiences. They suspend accounts without any valid reasons and when we follow their instructions to re-instate our account, they will keep on changing their policies. When they will not be left with anything, Elance will be unable to restore your account. Our business had suffered a lot due to this. Ultimately, we switch to oDesk.

    We don’t recommend oDesk to collaborate with Elance.


    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Neuron, thanks for your feedback. We can assure you that oDesk will continue to be the oDesk you know and love, only even better — with the combined resources of both oDesk and Elance, we’ll be able to provide better service and better products. You may want to read Gary’s latest blog post here: which addresses this concern.

      • shahriar

        my account was suspended from odesk. Will it affect my elance profile?


    I came from Bangladesh. We have a lot skilled people but they had no way to change their due to lack of work place and under paid job. but Freelancing changed their life and same story about me.

    I am doing freelance after my bachelor and I am really rocking with Odesk. I have elance account too but I always prefer Odesk.

    REAL STORY: I had account on “rent a coder”, “scriptlance later it called “Vworker”” and “”. When I placed bid on Vworked, I always called for interview and got job. But when they merged with it became larger market place but problem is Contractor had to face many problem. For $30 job, there are a lot of bids. It’s true that there are lot of job also but a contractor need to bid a lot of job to win few bids in a month. Now I really hate due to that complex situations.

    Odesk is really awesome and all of my friends are really rocking with odesk. IF YOU MERGE THEN IT WILL BE MORE COMPLICATED FOR NEW CONTRACTOR WHO MAY GIVE US BETTER WORLD.So please don’t do anything like

    I know there are some contractors are happy with this news but please have look their profile and compare who are not happy with this news.

    VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION: if Elance and odesk with be different place, different rules it’s ok, you can share your resources, ideas, technology, man power that’s not a problem BUT WHY ARE YOU GIVING US THIS NEWS. IS THERE ANYTHING WHICH WILL BE REALLY BAD LATER?

    Hope you got my point.

    I have worked more than 2500 hours, 172 contracts in Odesk and 210hours and 32 contracts(in a year WORKED OCCASIONALLY). But I really know ODesk is better and REALLY NOT HAPPY WITH THE NEWS.

    Thanks for changing my life. I really very proud to be an Odesk freelancer :).

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Ruhul, thank you for your thoughtful message and feedback, and for being such a wonderful oDesk customer!

      Please rest assured that you have nothing to worry about — oDesk and Elance will continue to operate as separate platforms, sharing resources and innovations to make your oDesk experience even better.

      And please don’t worry about anything bad happening — we let our users know about the news because we want to be fully transparent with them at all times, and because it’s a really exciting development that will keep the oDesk they know and love but just make it even better.

      Your happiness and success on oDesk mean the world to us, and we would never make any changes that we thought would create a bad experience for our community. The love is mutual :)

      • toni

        Hi can i ask does my oDesk portfolio and test will they be valid on Elance sence you guys are merging?
        Now i have to do double work take test on both sites and make reputation on 2 sites if you can make something that my portfolio will be valid on both sides this will be great.
        Thanks for your time.

        • Jenna Weiner

          Hi Toni, thanks for your question. oDesk and Elance will continue to operate as separate platforms, so your oDesk portfolio, tests and reputation will remain unchanged. I would encourage you to read Gary’s latest blog post, which addresses this question: Thanks!

      • RUHUL AMIN

        Hi Jenna,
        Thanks your message. Then I am happy with the news :)

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  • vivekkerni

    My odesk Id: kerni85 is suspended from last 1 years,i hope Odesk look into it and give me a chance too.

    Please resume.

  • Bappy

    I am odesk Worker and working here since 2 years ago and I didn’t like Elance. I think Odesk is best thenelance and oDesk don’t need elance help.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Bappy, first of all, thanks for being a loyal oDesk user! We think you’re going to be happy with the results of the merger — not only will both and continue to operate as separate, independent services, but we will be able to combine resources to serve you even better.

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  • Angela Taylor

    Guys, please share your thoughts about this bad news (for me atleast) on this online poll.

    Poll for what you think about odesk should merge with elance or not. Link is here

  • Narre

    This is a good news!
    Congratsz, Gary!

    • Gary Swart

      Thanks, Narre! It is certainly good news. Thanks for your feedback!

  • Sachin

    Personally I’m disappinted with this news. Elance has a horrible history of treating its freelancers badly. They suspend contractor accounts for no valid (even absurd) reasons sometimes (Google it).

    Mine was suspended unfairly on elance. I didn’t contest it that time and swiched to oDesk. I never returned back to that horrible marketplace but now I have no choice. I have a great reputation on oDesk but now feel this account at suspension risk post merger. If that happens, will be devastating for me as I have invested 3 years in oDesk to build my profile and this is my only source of income.

    oDesk is certainly different and way better marketplace than elance in any aspect. Yes, I would have been extremely pleased if Gary was the CEO of this joint venture but the case is different.
    Elance methodology will now be applied to change oDesk’s friendly system and contractors will now feel less secured. Elance staff mostly favors clients.

    oDesk provides complete payment guarantee on valid hourly contracts but elance doesn’t. In case of dispute or chargebacks filed by clients, They refund the amount saying they are mere payment processors.

    Will oDesk safegaurd own contractors who got suspened on Elance but are active with good reputation on oDesk? Will oDesk continue to protect freelancers by guaranteed hourly payments without any Elance kind of change?

    I know my opinion doesn’t matter but these are my 2 cents.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Sachin, thank you so much for your feedback. Your opinion certainly does matter, and we take your concerns very seriously. We are so happy to hear that you’ve found a happy home on oDesk, and we consider it one of our highest priorities to protect that going forward. There will be no changes to oDesk’s fees or membership structures as a result of the merger, and the platforms will remain separate. We fully expect that your oDesk experience will even improve as a result of the combined resources and innovation we’ll be able to deliver.

  • Kamran Ayub

    I had some bad experience with elance. but odesk give me opportunity to work again.

    no i am 100% dependent on odesk. if these two companies merge together then then my future will be @ risk.

    I really don’t like this idea as a freelancer.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Kamran, thanks for your feedback. Rest assured that oDesk and Elance will continue to operate as separate platforms, so your oDesk profile and reputation will remain unchanged. You can read a full answer from oDesk CEO Gary Swart on this question here: Thanks!

  • John Typer

    Wow thats great news but i hope works as it is now.As it is very easy to hire at the moment from and for some reason i feel difficulty working with elance platform.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi John, thanks for your feedback. Not only will the oDesk and Elance platforms continue to operate separately, but we actually think that the merger (and the combined resources/innovation that come with it) will help us bring you an even better oDesk experience.

  • Angela Taylor

    I am waiting to hear that this plan is cancelled. Anyone with me?

    • Mithun Roy

      Ya, ,me with you

      • Selim H

        Me too.

        • Barun P Mondal

          Mee too. I love only odesk.

          • august

            right. I hope they will cancel it even if it means so much money and power for both. If not, let elance emulate oDesk. 1. responsive(replies even on FB) 2. professional (talk to their live chat people, they are way better than any CSR i have talked to. 3. free free free 4. freelancers are their bosses, I feel that. The entire odesk site runs in the spirit of professionalism, respect and credibility, oh and generosity.. (PS.all the money I am spending this Christmas was given by oDesk)

          • Jenna Weiner

            Hi August, thank you for sharing your kind words. We love nothing more than hearing you’ve had a good experience on oDesk, and we consider it our highest priority to ensure that this continues. We believe strongly that the merger puts us in a better position than ever to do that, as we’ll have the combined resources and innovation to deliver the best oDesk experience yet. oDesk CEO Gary Swart answered this concern in more detail in his latest blog post here:

        • Jenna Weiner

          Hi Angela, Mithun, Selim, and Barun, thank you for your thoughts and your enthusiasm for oDesk! We take your concerns very seriously, and that’s why we are keeping oDesk and Elance as separate platforms. You can continue to use oDesk as you always have, only we expect that your experience will be even better. oDesk CEO Gary Swart answered this concern in his latest blog post, which you can read here:

  • Angela Taylor

    Hi Gary and Odesk
    Its really good that you care about us so much. I really appreciate that. But personally, the idea of merging with ELANCE, I don’t have a good feeling for it as a freelancer, I had been working on Elance for past two years, but I had never experienced any comfort with elance which I got with oDesk.

    I am afraid that you will also make oDesk difficult for freelancer, as elance has done. I had many bad experience with elance so I signed up with odesk, and odesk provided great opportunities and working environment. But as I read that you are merging with Elance, I don’t feel good yet, but I hope you will not make Odesk difficult for us.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Angela, thanks so much for sharing your feedback. We hear you loud and clear. I encourage you to read Gary’s latest blog post (here: In it he talks about this very concern, and how important it is to us to ensure that you continue to have a great experience on oDesk. We believe strongly that the merger will only improve your experience on oDesk!

  • Ajay Kaushik

    I have worked many times on oDesk and I had joined this in the very begining when oDesk had started. I liked oDesk for the simple reason that it was giving a fair chance for all to bid on projects without making a beginner shelling out money only for bidding on a project. Elance I have done only one project till date. I know many people who have their tales of woes working on elance but don’t know any who complained about oDesk. oDesk policies have been much better for freelancers or providers. It seems only matter of time that membership on oDesk will also become fee based or you will be able to bid on projects based on kind of membership you are having. That will not be a good thing for providers for sure.

    This merger will be good for Gary in terms of merger benefits but for sure not good for oDeskers who have contributed to oDesk to become what it is today.

    • Nidhi

      Even I feel the same

      • Jenna Weiner

        Hi Ajay and Nidhi, thanks for sharing your feedback. Not only will oDesk and Elance continue to operate as separate platforms, but oDesk’s fees and membership structures will not change as a result of the merger. In fact, we expect your oDesk experience will only improve as a result of the merger. I would encourage you to read Gary’s latest blog post here:

  • Hammad

    Dear Gary & oDesk!
    I am working 14-16 hours daily on oDesk and I feel like a boss!
    But after hearing this “bad” news I have decided to drop my CV in companies to get a stable job because Freelancers/Employers don’t like eLance and they will switch to Guru/Freelancer etc. What will happen after 4 months? We will not get a better job for sure!!!

    oDesk has

    * Excellent Customer Services
    * oDesk site is Friendly and very easy to use(especially for beginners)
    * Everything is free! specially Applying for a job & Tests.
    * We don’t have to pay monthly fees
    * You charge employers who are getting services not the freelancers who are working for them ( Plus point of oDesk )

    eLance has:
    * Please tell me anything good about them?

    I don’t know what came in your mind and you have decided to merge with them :( I am happy oDesker and love to work on oDesk! But now I am seriously thinking to secure my future.

    Anyways all the best!


    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Hammad, thanks so much for your feedback. We really appreciate your kind words about oDesk, and are so happy to hear that you’ve had a great experience! We actually think very highly of Elance, which is why we’ve decided to merge with them. But we certainly understand that many users feel strongly about one platform versus the other, which is why we will be keeping the platforms separate. You can read Gary’s full response to this concern in his latest blog post here:

  • kuldeep kumar

    Congrats, Gary! and full Odesk team……

    • Jenna Weiner

      Thanks so much, Kuldeep!

  • Alpesh Patoliya

    Hello Gary,




    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Alpesh, thanks for sharing how you feel. We value your opinion greatly. If you’re not comfortable using Elance you can continue to use oDesk, as we will be keeping both platforms separate. I encourage you to take a look at point 1 in Gary’s latest post here: which addresses this very concern.

  • Darryl

    I left Elance and Freelancer with their terrible customer support, service, transitioning all my workers over to Odesk. Everything intolerable on the other sites has not been an issue on ODesk. I especially love its ease of use, I have no complaints other than please don’t incorporate any features, policies, or interface from elance, its horrid and why I dump them long ago and moved to oDesk.

    • Hammad

      Dear Darryl,
      oDesk is best and will remain best if they don’t merge with them :(

      • Jenna Weiner

        Hi Darryl, thanks for sharing your thoughts. We take your concerns very seriously, and believe strongly that merging with Elance will only improve our ability to provide better service and a better platform than before, as we are keeping both platforms separate yet combining resources and innovations. I encourage you to read oDesk CEO Gary Swart’s recent response to this concern here:

  • Howard Kroymann

    I am very active on oDesk – managing 3 consultants right now. I have found odesk useful for finding and paying consultants, but not for managing my consultants or projects. I have finally abandoned the horribly unwieldy messaging system entirely. If the merger provides good management tools, I’ll use them. If fees start creeping into the process, I’ll move off the platform.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Howard, thanks for your thoughts. Fees and membership structures will not change as a result of the merger, and we fully expect the oDesk experience — including the management tools! — to improve as a result of the combined resources and innovations. Stay tuned!

  • Giulio

    Sorry, but I really have a bad feeling about this. “For now” both platforms will run separately. Just “for now” and I do not know how worse it could get eventually when the deal closes.

    I just been to forums and to be honest many freelancers (including me) are turned off of Elance. It’s not user-friendly, complicated, staying on the site too long makes me nauseated and above all, their policies are very overrated. I *really* love oDesk, while I cannot even remember my username and password in Elance.

    So, how about you run a poll for oDesk freelancers? I am sure users of least 80% will not favour this merger. Just a simple poll if you guys want a real feedback

  • Markis Gardner

    I hope they do not use elances arbitration fees!!!!! So ridiculous their fees!!! Otherwise I will have to stop using them!

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Markis, thanks for your feedback. Rest assured that fees and membership structures will not change as a result of the merger!

  • KM Lee

    Wow, this is a surprised indeed! :)

    I’m glad you guys are running the 2 platforms separately. For me, I’d still prefer using oDesk interface because of its user-friendliness. Can’t wait to see what are the possibilities for both clients and freelancers in the coming days.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, KM! We think this merger will bring great things for both platforms in the future :)

  • jawad


    congratulations guys its a good step but I am not sure if its a good idea after the 4 month. what I experience from the merger of scriptlance and freelancer was not that much great although combining feedbakcs and reviews from both websites give me a boost but still i miss the simplicity and easiness of scriptlance . i had to moved to odesk and elance due to their every day changing criteria and bidding system. freelancer becomes more like a quiz game now. personally i think odesk is odesk and elance is elance. please don’t merge their client basis or user basis and more over the functionality of them. i don’t mind with competitions since the clients which i am working with they are not going to leave me in fact i brought them to odesk or elance from and i am confident that i can still get projects after the merger but its better to have two options in front of us then one and with ever going competition.

    thank you


    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Jawad, thanks for sharing your reaction. We completely agree that oDesk is oDesk and Elance is Elance, which is why we are keeping them as separate platforms. But we expect the experience on both will improve as a result of the merger. I would take a look at Gary’s latest blog post here: which addresses this concern.

  • cory michael sanchez

    Congrats on selling your company gary! That must be super exciting!

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Cory, actually it’s a merger, not a sale or acquisition. Thanks for your feedback, though!

  • Justin Maxwell

    Sounds very monopolistic to me. Isn’t this the sort of merger that regulators get paid to prevent, to ensure a free market and all the benefits that competition brings?

    • jalehbisharatodesk

      Hi Justin, Thanks for sharing your reaction, even though we certainly don’t agree. We think we ‘ll be in a position to serve customers better than ever before.

  • Brandon

    By ‘merge,’ my initial thought was- the two platforms would be combined into one large platform. But it looks like oDesk and Elance are staying as separate platforms altogether? How can this be considered a merge when technically, only resources and brainpower are being shared?

    • Brandon

      Help me understand this a little better. Is a new company being created that will run both and as products (e.g. similar to how Apple owns iPhone and iMac), or is and merging together into one platform?

      • jalehbisharatodesk

        Hi Brandon, I like your analogy. Our plan is for and to continue operating separately.

        • Brandon

          So am I right to say then that the brainpower and resources between the two companies are being pooled together instead of the two platforms actually combining into one? I believe there’s a distinction between the two and I just want to make sure I’m getting the right message here! :)

          • jalehbisharatodesk

            Yes. You are getting the right message. :)

        • Filip Galetic

          Please don’t change these plans :)

    • warren nazareno

      And the new name for this merged company is called —> Edesk.

      Come on go ahead don’t be shy use my idea. lol

      • Brandon

        eDesk or oLance- haha. Or how about eDeskLance? LOL.

  • Donna Post

    Concerned about the merger. My experience with Elance was not that great which is how I got started with Odesk which has worked out well now for 3 years.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Donna, thanks for voicing your concern. Rest assured that both and will for now continue to operate as separate, independent services. Plus, after the merger closes, we expect to deliver even more product and quality innovations. I’m so happy to hear you’ve had a good experience on oDesk thus far, and we expect that to continue!

    • Ilya Z

      I also used Elance for 2-3 years and spent about 50k on the platform before moving to odesk in 2010. Odesk seemed to be better suited for smaller projects and working with the freelancer directly rather than a bigger firm. At the time, elance seemed to be more targeted towards flat rate projects where odesk focused on hourly.

      The only issue that I have is that the new company may implement a higher minimum wage requirement. Odesk has been experimenting with $4/hr min and Elance already has $3/hr min. This would force many to switch to Guru and for data entry projects in the $1-2/hr range. This isn’t applicable for developers where we pay $15-30/hr but I still have a bunch of the basic manual tasks as well.

      My experience with odesk customer support has been a bit disappointing though.

      In the end, I hope that the merger has little effect on everyone involved on these platforms at least in the short term.

      Curious what reason they had for this merger, as both with the largest players in this space.
      Anyways I love how both platforms really changed the way that many do business and others work.

      • Jenna Weiner

        Hi Ilya, thank you for your thoughtful feedback. We feel strongly that this merger will lead to a better experience for both the oDesk and Elance communities — we’ll be able to make you even happier by combining resources to deliver new products and even better service.

  • Prescott Paulin

    Congrats, Gary!

    • Gary Swart

      Thanks, Prescott!

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  • Deepa Govind

    I have an active profile on both sites.. and I am pretty much okay with how things work individually. After the merger is complete, the questions I would like addressed are

    1. I am using free membership in both–> Will i be (un)forced to sign up for a paid one *by reducing job quota / categories listing)
    2. What will happen to the % cut –> it is different for both, so what will this be after the merger?

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Deepa, thanks for the great questions. In reference to both of them, there are no changes in fees or membership structures planned.

      • Deepa Govind

        Thanks Jenna.

        Truly hope that this will not change , as a conscious decision as well.

  • PowerLancer.comPowerLancer

    Awesome! Can’t wait to see the results of the merger.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Thanks, PowerLancer! We’re excited too and appreciate your feedback!

  • Arsh

    This will not affect the Contractors and Client’s Current Status, but for future this will increase the Competition between Contractors a lot. But Still this is too early to say because dont know how this merge will take place for both platforms.

    • jalehbisharatodesk

      Thanks for being openminded Arsh! As you know, we plan to keep the two platforms separate. In fact, we will invest even more than before in growing the number of clients and jobs. So, the plan is the opposite of increasing freelancer competition: we expect this to benefit freelancers.

      • Arsh

        Oh really, Did you mean both will be merge financially and there will be no change on odesk??

        • jalehbisharatodesk

          Yes, the plan is to merge financially but to keep the platforms operating separately.

          • Arsh

            Now this is a Great New for me, Because i love odesk and never want it to be Changed.

    • Kamlesh Kumar

      Yes but as long as they keep and as separate website and our profile and rating saved as it is currently I’m okay with the Merge..

      • Jewel Rana

        If this is true that 2 company will merge only financially (they will merge their profit share) , but both site will work separately then i don’t have any complain ! but if they merge 2 marketpale into one then i am sure it will not a good idea ! 80% freelancer not like elance system (too much complicated) ! i love odesk as it is now. very easy to use. please keep keep odesk as it is now !!

        • Jenna Weiner

          Hi Kamlesh and Jewel, thanks for sharing your feedback! oDesk and Elance will indeed continue to operate as separate platforms (with your oDesk profiles, reputation and feedback remaining unchanged), and we’ll make both better as a result of our combined resources and innovations. oDesk CEO Gary Swart recently addressed this very concern in his latest blog post here:

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  • Mohamed

    I am an odesk user since 2008 when i read this news first thing come to my mind is how this will affect my profile on odesk and will it be the same way to earn and recieve the money, i need more detailed information about the scope of work after the merge !!! for me this merge does n t look good guys!!!

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Mohamed, thanks for voicing your concerns. We are committed to not only keeping your experience at the same level of quality, but improving it. There will be no changes to fees or membership structures as a result of the merger, and because the platforms are remaining separate there will also be no change to your oDesk profile. We believe this will be a very good thing for both the oDesk and Elance communities.

      • sajid hussain

        Hi Jenna, i really dont understand meaning of merge. When both sites remain separate, no profile merging, no rating sharing, no project sharing then what will be happen in merge? what is our benefit in this great adventure and where we will be? Quick response will be appreciated. Thanks

        • Jenna Weiner

          Hi Sajid, thanks for your question. The benefits will be from combining resources and innovations to provide a better experience for both platforms — including better product features and better service. oDesk CEO Gary Swart recently addressed this question in his latest blog post here, if you want to take a look!

  • kermed

    After the abysmal support I’ve received from odesk over the years – severe enough I use a different company for freelance work – I was really hopeful for a minute that elance was taking over odesk.

    Unfortunately, reading above, it is odesk taking over elance. Which means one less company I will use. So close, yet so far.

    • Luke

      Why do you think oDesk is taking over Elance? The Elance CEO will be running the merged company

      • http://elance George

        I have a quick question I’m a client, I hire a freelance on elance a few months back and the freelance never completed the job and his account get suspended, will his account also be suspended on odesk?

      • Marko

        Because the oDesk executive chairman will be the executive chairman of the merged company.

        • Jenna Weiner

          Hi kermed, Luke and Marko, thanks for your feedback. Actually it’s a merger, so neither oDesk nor Elance is taking over the other. You’re correct that Fabio Rosati (of Elance) will serve as the CEO of the new organization and Thomas Layton (of oDesk) will serve as the Executive Chairman.

          Kermed, we are sorry to hear that you have had a disappointing experience with support. One of the reasons we are so excited about this merger is that it should enable us to combine resources to better serve you and other oDesk & Elance customers, so hopefully that will not happen again!

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  • Mike Dawson

    I must say it a bad and a good news, lets see what could 2014 can do for us!

    • Muhamamd Asif

      Most important is how our profile/history looks like.. we have done hard work to make profile spotless, this would be a problematic I think when merger will be done. I think we will be floating here and there :(

      • Jenna Weiner

        Hi Muhamamd, rest assured that oDesk and Elance will continue to operate as two separate services under the oDesk and Elance brand names, so your profile and work history will not be affected as a result of the merger!

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Mike, thanks for your feedback! We are definitely looking forward to all the exciting things 2014 will bring, and think you’ll find that this is good news indeed.

  • chichi

    I’m working in Odesk for almost 3years now.My concern is about the membership fee..I also have account in Elance but I opt to work through odesk since I cannot afford and actually don’t want to pay the membership fee. I hope it wont change..

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi chichi, rest assured that there will be no changes to oDesk fees or membership structures as a result of the merger!


  • Archie Montoyo

    This is getting bigger and wider leverage for both companies. Congratulations everyone! Elance clients enthrust us with bigger challenges and get things work done. Hire us today

    • Jenna Weiner

      Thanks, Archie! We are really looking forward to it as well! :)

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  • Jawwad Kalia

    Glad to hear that. I am sure both companies will bring in new ways to better market the freelancing industry. Look forward to see the new potential these companies bring in for cross board freelancers.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Thanks, Jawwad! We think there will be many great things to come :)

  • Adnan

    I think odesk and elance is trying to compete the other site like freelance, which is the result of number of sites merger.
    I have been depending on Odesk for quite some time and never liked the way Elance works, For my point of view this don’t looks good. But for elance and Odesk to compete others this is must…. hoping this will bring positive change for me too …..

  • Joy

    for as long as it remains free, just like oDesk now. And do not reset our earned hours and feedback and we will start fresh profiles. We must carry with us the hours and feedback we worked hard for.

    • dvershinin

      Are you OK? oDesk isn’t free. You are paying 10% of your income.

      • kermed

        She’s comparing it to elance where they expect you to also pay for a subscription.

      • Yony

        unlike elance you need to pay $10 monthly to add connects. 10% is enough than go to work outside of your home.

        • Jenna Weiner

          Hi Joy, dvershinin, kermed and Yony, thanks for your thoughts. Rest assured that there will be no changes to oDesk fees or membership structures as a result of this merger!

  • Custom Logo Design

    Fingers crossed, let see what gonna happen. I thing it could be a good step if it will not effect the employers and freelancers.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Custom Logo Design, thanks for your thoughts! Because both platforms are remaining separate — but we will be able to provide a better experience on both by combining resources and innovations — we fully expect that the merger will bring an even better experience for oDesk clients and freelancers!

  • Sarfraz

    Big News. Welcome oDelance :)

    • kikiua

      oDesance xD Hahahahhah

      • Jenna Weiner

        Haha thank you, Sarfraz and kikiua! Both are fantastic ideas :)

  • Kristen Brady

    I just hope Odesk does not start charging like Elance. I make a LOT more money on Odesk than Elance because I just don’t have the money to pay for all those connects on Elance. Elance charges for memberships because they offer protection with escrow. Will Odesk be offering this protection? I’d rather not pay for the protection if it means charging for memberships. I always get 100% upfront or do hourly work to guarantee payment. I don’t have to rely on escrow and I don’t want to have to pay for a membership for this protection. I just protect myself as any other business owner would do when it comes to dealing with clients on the Internet.

    • jalehbisharatodesk

      Hi Kristen, We’ll continue to operate separately from Elance. We don’t plan to change the fee structure as a result of this merger. I hope you continue to enjoy success on oDesk!

  • Toke Kruse

    Fantastic Gary! What a great partnership. This will indeed benefit all the small business owners around the globe.

    Toke Kruse
    Serial entrepreneur and I love to support freelancers’ work life too

    • Gary Swart

      Thanks, Toke! I couldn’t agree more.

      • Toke Kruse

        I’m looking forward to see how odesk and Elance will work together. In my opinion odesk is the best place to get easier and simple tasks solved, while Elance is for more complicated tasks. And as you’re both good as execution, so the partnership will be a blast!


  • Filip Galetic

    Hi, my living depends on oDesk and as I am thankful for this FAQ, this news leaves A LOT of things unanswered. Things that can in long term affect the way I make my living on oDesk: how will this change billing, feedback between clients and contractors, competition between contractors etc. I would be thankful for a more detailed answer. Thanks.

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Filip, great questions. As far as billing, there will be no changes to oDesk fees or membership structures as a result of the merger. Regarding feedback, the two platforms will remain separate, but we expect to be able to improve the oDesk feedback system even further using the combined resources and innovations resulting from the merger. And for competition, you have no need to be concerned; we plan to use these resources to attract more clients who will then create more jobs. oDesk CEO Gary Swart recently addressed many of these concerns in his latest blog post, take a look here!

  • Syed Tahir Rasul

    Wow. This came as a surprise but a very good one indeed. Really excited to hear about the merger of two big marketplaces since it would certainly increase the work opportunities.

    Would love the way to work more and more in future on oDesk+eLance.

    Thanks Team!

    • g6n6

      It will not be free. They have captivated the market and now they will add a subscription base to both sites to generate revenue. This is not about you, it is about greed and profit for both companies. If they combine the accounts and charge the same you are stuck with with or going else where. So that leaves you with little options. This is business and business is about profits.

      • RG

        Hopefully the Odesk model will not change because Elance is JAFC (just another freelance company), where Odesk has clearly innovated. Too bad Gary Stewart will not lead the company as it is unclear what the former CEO of Elance (and the current CEO of the combined company) has done except for following other models like Guru/ Freelancer.

      • jalehbisharatodesk

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts but please be assured this is not the plan at all! The plan is for and to continue to operate as separate platforms, with no fee changes planned as a result of the merger.

        • Dave

          These officieal response are all corporate speak gobbledy-gook.

          “There are no fee changes planned as a result of the merger” is code for “no, we have not determined anything for certain yet, but we”ll certainly look into the fee structure after the merger closes and our primary competitor is no more.” Otherwise, why not say the following: “As our pledge to loyal users, we promise not to raise fees for 2 years, and have no plans to do so even after that point.”?

          Also, “the plan is for and to continue to operate as separate platforms,” again means the same thing. JalehBisharat, why not make a pledge that for at least 2 years, the websites will operate separately?

          • Kanishka Kodikara

            On Odesk we have a freedom to work on any projects and work with any client. oDesk does not charge us for services they provided and it is very user friendly platform. We are living on Odesk now and we have build our brand on odesk. We do not like if oDesk changes its policies. On Elance they charge contractors for everything. If we need to do skill test we need to pay their. And elance is not user friendly. Actually I do not like Elance.

            I am depend on Odesk and will our future be at risk by this merger.

          • Jenna Weiner

            Hi Kanishka, rest assured that there will be no changes to oDesk fees or membership structures as a result of the merger. In fact, we think your oDesk experience will only improve! Take a look at oDesk CEO Gary Swart’s recent blog post, which addresses many of these concerns, here:

    • Jenna Weiner

      Thanks, Syed! You’re exactly right — we fully expect that this merger will increase work opportunities and result in a better experience on both platforms. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      • Anand

        @Jenna Winer why you did not reply to Dave? LOL