Elance was started by Beerud Sheth in 1999. It was originally created as a technology for supporting virtual work but after two-years it morphed in to a vendor management system (VMS). In 2006 Elance sold its enterprise software division and developed its current based platform for online, contingent work.Elance is one of the largest freelance platforms on the web and serves over 500,000 businesses with over 2 million registered freelancers. oDesk and Elance reached a deal in December of 2013 to merge the two companies which will consist of 8 million freelancers and 2 million businesses.
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- Several businesses and freelancers
Potential businesses and freelancers are in good company with over 500,000 business and 2 million freelancers. In addition, Elance has one of the lowest fees in the market only taking 8.75% of bill rates. In 2012 Elance expanded with 345,000 new businesses who posted over 80,000 jobs each month. In addition, over 780,000 new Elancers joined to find work, with annual Elancer earnings surpassing $200 million for the first time. In other words Elance has continued to explode with success during the last two-years.
Elance can be pretty difficult to navigate and use. The user dashboards are robust; however, finding specific jobs and people can be pretty tedious. In addition, users should be prepared to spend some time setting up an account, verifying information, and linking bank accounts. Like other platforms, Elance does not have effective hedges in place to reduce low ball offers. A quick search on the web surfaces hundreds of unhappy freelancers complaining about having to compete with other freelancers at $1 to $2 an hour. Approving legal contracts and other proposals can also be a tedious process through the Elance system.