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Virginbiz.net was launched in October 1999 to cater to the vast
number of UK small businesses keen to grow using the web. Over the last
year they have developed a wealth of information and services to help
these companies make the most of the opportunities offered by e-commerce,
from providing the nuts and bolts of building a website, to aiding with
online marketing strategies.
"It's a multibillion-dollar opportunity, in the league of an Amazon.com or an eBay," says John Doerr, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins and an eLance director. "This goes beyond a great business model -- it can change people's lives for the better."
The Red Herring
Oct 12, 2000.
eLance is the leading professional services marketplace and end-to-end platform for web-based projects used by businesses worldwide. Buyers tap into a highly qualified pool of professional talent and get a wide range of projects completed online -- including software development, web design, creative services, research, translation, copywriting and more. Service professionals find a global market for their services, and build their reputation through the feedback rating system. Online collaboration tools include a global billing and payment system, Work Space file sharing, and quality guarantee programs designed to maintain high standards of satisfaction.
eLance.com is the world's first, global, marketplace for both buyers and sellers of services that can be delivered remotely. According to McKinsey Management Consulting, the remote services marketplace is estimated to reach $700 billion globally
Over 200,000 businesses and individuals from more than 140 countries are registered to conduct work using eLance; 40% of transactions are completed across international borders. From Bombay to Boston, from Singapore to Sweden, eLance is changing the way the world works.
More than 7,000 IT-related projects have been posted in the eLance marketplace to date. Enabling timely and cost-effective development of virtually any kind of Web or software project, eLance has transacted over $33 million in IT projects and now has a base of over 50,000 IT firms and professionals, creating the tech industry's most extensive online talent pool.
Outsourcing from the United States to India alone is estimated at U.S. $4 billion in 2000, and is expected to reach U.S. $50 billion by 2008*. Moreover, demand for IT workers in the United States greatly exceeds supply, and IT worker shortfall is expected to reach 850,000 over the next year, according to an April 2000 Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) report.
A Brief History
Founded in 1998 by Wall Street veterans Beerud Sheth and Srini Anumolu, eLance launched a beta version of the professional services marketplace from their New York offices in September 1999. In December of that year they relocated to Sunnyvale, in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. The highly publicized move brought international attention to both eLance and the rapidly growing e-lance industry.
February 2000 brought the announcement of funding by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with KPCB general partners John Doerr and Joe Lacob joining the eLance Board of Directors. May 2000 saw online brokerage pioneer V. Eric Roach join as CEO, after three years as a top executive at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
September 2000 saw the announcement of over $50 million funding from top industry investors, with Lawrence D. Lenihan, Jr. of Pequot Capital Management joining the Board. The revenue-based site officially launched on September 25, firmly establishing eLance as the dominant leader of the professional services marketplace.
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Last Updated January 21, 2001
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