Why Did Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer Stocks Drop by 60% in 6 Months?by@nebojsaneshatodorovic
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3,773 reads

Why Did Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer Stocks Drop by 60% in 6 Months?

Too Long; Didn't Read

The stock value of the so-called freelance industry “triumvirate” (Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer) has been massacred in the last six months. More than 60% on average in less than six months. Why?

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Nebojsa "Nesha" Todorovic HackerNoon profile picture

The stock markets and Bitcoin keep crashing! Why? Don’t know; I’m not a wolf of Wall Street.

The stock value of the so-called freelance industry “triumvirate” (Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer) has been massacred in the last six months. More than 60% on average in less than six months. Why?

I have some pretty scary screenshots to share. Brace yourselves, my fellow freelancers, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

First, let’s have a look at how the freelance Aussies are doing. Their stocks are now 50% below their November 2021 value.

If you think that’s bad, you should hold your freelance horses to wait and see what happened to Upwork and Fiverr stocks. But, for now, let’s stick to Freelancer dot com.

All things considered, with almost 60M registered users, which you can check yourself in real-time at the very bottom of their official site, I believe that no more than 500 employees according to Wiki are doing their best. I can only imagine what kind of a logistical nightmare this must have been for their support team, not to mention countless remote work interactions and financial transactions on a daily basis.

Moving on to Upwork. More than 64% down in past six months. Oh boy, that hurts a lot.

I’m going to address the elephant, or it’s more appropriate the bear, in the Ukraine room, right away. Upwork’s decision to suspend its business in Russia and Belarus has nothing to do with the performance of their stocks. The reason is simple and obvious. Here’s a direct quote from the official Upwork statement:

Over the coming days, customers in Russia and Belarus will no longer be able to sign up for new accounts, initiate new contracts, or be visible in search. Existing contracts with talent and clients in the region will remain open, with final billing due by May 1, 2022.

Upwork announced that they’re strutting down business in Russia and Belarus at the beginning of March, with the “operational extension” until May 1. Looking back at Upwork stocks, they were already in serious trouble since January, so we can’t blame Putin for this one. With all due respect, these markets are important contributors to Upwork’s total revenue, but not decisive ones.

Approximately 10% of Upwork's total revenue in 2021 was derived from work where either the talent or the client was located in the region, with Ukraine representing approximately 6% and Russia and Belarus representing approximately 4% combined.

Rich Smith who analyzed Upwork’s financial situation in March for “The Motley Fool” simply stated the obvious, and I dare to add, and convenient set of circumstances: In light of this, Upwork announced it is "withdrawing its previously issued first-quarter and full-year 2022 guidance." Given that the company already wasn't expected to earn any profit, the news now is probably going to be even worse.

The more you wait, the worst it gets for Upwork. However, the biggest shocker was undoubtedly Fiverr with a jaw-dropping 81% fall from the stock market grace:

What in the world happened here?! Fiverr stocks used to be the best in the industry compared to Upwork and Freelancer. Back to “The Motley Fool” for the only explanation that made some sense to me:

It would be an understatement to say that investors have been on edge lately. With inflation at a 40-year high and the Federal Reserve on track to hike the benchmark federal funds interest rate as many as five more times this year -- on top of its recent 50-basis point hike earlier this month -- investors in growth stocks are particularly skittish when it comes to any signs that a company's growth is slowing down. They found reasons to believe just that about Fiverr based on its new revenue guidance. With the company's sales not expected to be as robust as management had originally anticipated, traders were quick to dump the stock and look for what they hope will be safer places to put their money.

Ah, those ungrateful investors. Imagine all these Wall Street wolves spending a week or two working as freelancers.

The “pillars” of our freelance industry have collapsed spectacularly!

Here’s a group screenshot, just in case the previous ones weren’t scary enough.

Currently, there are approximately 1.1 billion freelancers in the world. This means that around 31.4% of the total workforce in the world are freelancers.

Elon Musk spent $44B on some little blue bird called “Larry T Bird.”

OMC - How Bizarre (Official Music Video)

How much is that equally distributed among freelancers? Can you help me out? I suck at math, that’s why I write.

Hypothetically speaking, could have Elon Musk bought all Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer shares, if he hadn’t spent all that money on Twitter? Imagine the freelance industry where you wouldn’t have to pay for Freelancer’s membership fees, Upwork’s connects and payment processing fees, and Fiverr where your gig is worth more than five bucks.

It’s tragic, the freelance “triumvirate” went public!

I only hope my freelance friends, this isn’t how our freelance world ends.