10 Jan 2019
January 2019 UPWK, FVRR Over the past year a froth of excitement in the investor community has been generated revolving the transition from traditional full-time 9-5 work place-centric employment towards millennial driven, MacBook WIFI enabled ‘Gig’ economy. Several well capitalized marketplaces such as Upwork and Fiverr emerged as hubs for independent ‘Gig’ project management and talent identification environments.
Our data driven approach was able to distill actual consumer adaption rates from the banker driven IPO hype. Using proprietary email intelligence we uncovered a lack of growth in several types of Upwork digital communications. First, when a project is completed or milestone achieved, the client sends the provider a payment and this triggers a payment confirmation message from Upwork.
Additionally, dovetailing with the lack of growth in payment confirms, Upwork clients receive a weekly billing report during ongoing engagements/projects. Again our email intelligence indicated a lack of growth in consumers receiving these types of reports.
The lack of new Upwork customers coupled with poor growth in payment volume was inconsistent with aggressive growth rate projections and warranted inclusion of UPWK on our negative inflection list. Since identification shares have collapsed nearly 50% as Upwork reported weaker growth rates and lowered its forecast.