What is the cost to build an app like Upwork? A thorough Analysis!

What’s the first word that comes to your mind when you think of online freelancing? Upwork, right? The success story of this freelance marketplace giant has driven many aspiring entrepreneurs like you to start a similar endeavor. And in pursuit of this great ambition, you probably might stumble upon an important question – how much does it cost to build an Upwork clone app?

This blog covers all your cost-related questions!  

Online freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr account for the majority of the total market value in the freelance marketplace. As per an estimate, where Upwork’s global addressable market stands at $1.3 trillion, Fiverr is next on the list at $750 billion.

These estimations indicate that if you got an idea for an innovative online freelance marketplace like Upwork, this is a great time to start. And speaking of the overall app costings, it boils down to all the features you opt for, among other factors.

Here we go!  

Online Freelance Marketplace – Key Statistics 

  • 30% of Fortune 500 companies work with freelancers for their long-term assignments or contractual projects.
  • Freelance talent acquisition isn’t just limited to large companies. 70% of small businesses hire freelancers as it gains highly from the low overhead costs. 
  • The US has over 56 million individuals working as freelancers contributing over USD 1.4 billion to the US economy. At the current rate, freelancing is more likely to become the leading workforce in the coming few years. 

freelance workforce in US


As per a survey from Bloomberg, Google had over 102,000 permanent employees on its payroll as of March 2019. But interestingly, it had over 120,000 freelancers working on a contract basis.

analysis between Google's permanent and freelance employees


16 Must-have Features for your Upwork Clone App

When it comes to the Upwork alike freelance marketplace, a lot depends on the features and functionalities you provide to users. It makes all the difference between users finding it easy to use your website or rather moving to the different freelance platforms for job opportunities. 

Check out Upwork’s business and revenue model to know more about its business strategy. Here are some basic features you must include on your platform for both – freelancers and job providers.

For Freelancers

Easy Registration

  • User sign-up is the first step on your online gig platform where freelancers create their profiles. So, you must ensure that it is as simple as possible. For quick sign-up, you can provide an option for job seekers sign-up using their social media accounts. 
  • However, before they come onboard, you must verify their identity & qualifications and also share documents, portfolios, and social network links.

Freelancer Profile

  • A freelancer’s profile consists of a list of features like name, location, contacts, photo, and services rendered among other basic information.
  • A profile should also display user skills, display rating scores & reviews, etc. In return, it helps freelancers to get hired in the future while also boosting their credibility in the freelance marketplace.

Advance Search

The advanced job search feature is an essential tool remote contractors use to search for relevant skills. It includes various filters like search by start date, project category, budget, language, and a lot more. As seen with many freelancing platforms, it helps boost engagement on the platform.

Seamless Payment

  • You must avail multiple payment options on your platform. Direct-to-Bank, PayPal, and wire transfers are some of the go-to options to offer.
  • To secure your payment gateways from fraud & threats, you can include features like 3D secure, CVV, and AVS. 

Bidding Mechanism

When building an app like Upwork, a freelance professional should be able to set the cost at which he/she will complete the task. Job providers, on the other hand, can go through freelancers’ lists and select a suitable candidate for the job. 

Portfolio Management

It would be great if freelancers can create their portfolios, upload images, and attach resumes, and other documents that highlight their experience.  

Time Tracking

A freelancer can efficiently track how much time they have spent on different tasks, change their status, leave comments, and more. While Upwork has its in-built tracking system, you can also integrate your freelance platform with a third-party service tracker.

Invoice Generation

An automatic invoice generation mechanism removes the chances of human error. Moreover, it also sheds the burden-off job providers regarding administration issues once the project is completed and approved by the client.

For Job Providers

Company Registration and Authorization

Similar to a freelancer signing up on an online freelance marketplace like Upwork, you must offer organization registration and employers sign-up when viewing services and candidates’ profiles.  

Company Profile

A company profile is a feature that includes organization-related information such as name, logo, business niche, website URL, and contact details among other things.

User Dashboard

A user dashboard offers all the necessary information regarding freelancers’ work history, track submissions, contracts, etc. It helps job providers to better manage their accounts and job details.

Freelancer Search

The best way to get a list of remote contractors for any specific skill is to provide as many resource-finding filters as possible, like skills, budget, delivery time, location, experience, etc. In addition, you can select specific categories to narrow down the list of freelancers.    


A messaging app speeds up the process of hiring a resource for any project. Through messaging apps a job provider can easily chat with the candidates, exchange project details, negotiate terms, and more. You can also avail video chat option for better communication and transparency in the process.

Reviews and Ratings

A review system works wonders for both freelancers and job providers with a trusted source of valued feedback. It brings out the best in them and improves their services as everyone can see their performance. 

Job Posting & Management

This allows businesses and organizations to post projects and efficiently manage all their technical aspects like job descriptions, candidate responsibilities, and delivery time among other things.

For you – Admin Panel

Being the owner of a white-label freelance marketplace platform like Upwork, you can easily manage different terms and conditions of the way the platform operates. It includes the commission charged to freelancers and job providers, tracking payments, viewing overall earnings, better analyzing your users, and improving services.

How much does it cost to build an app like Upwork?

When building a freelance marketplace like Upwork, your budget plays an important role. The cost to create an Upwork clone app varies from country to country. For instance, the Upwork mobile app developer’s hourly rate for UK and US ranges from $50-$150 per hour, while in Asian countries it costs a bit lower in comparison.

Here’s the cost estimation of different features at an average rate of $50 per hour.

Upwork clone app development cost breakdown

Upwork clone app cost breakdown

Final Thoughts

The online freelance marketplace has grown exponentially over the last 5-6 years, especially post Covid. As per Verified Market Research, the freelance marketplace was valued at USD 3.8 billion in 2020. Growing at a CAGR of 15.02%, it is expected to grow over USD 12 billion from 2021 to 2028.

In addition, Upwork has over 7 million registered users and 12 million registered clients. And this clientele avails over 100,000 jobs across various skills on the platform.

More than half of the US working population will be working as freelancers. If the current growth rate of freelancers continues, almost 51% of the US population will indulge in freelance work by 2027.

So what do these stats indicate?

It indicates that there has never been a better time to invest in any innovative freelance marketplace idea than today!

Now, if you are looking for a reliable app-building outsourcing company, Code Brew is here to help. Our expert development team has built over 10,000 apps for various industries like on-demand ride-sharing, social media, online food delivery, e-commerce, online education, healthcare, and a lot more.

Kickstart your online freelance marketplace endeavor with Code Brew app development services.

Contact us today to get a free demo!

August 25, 2022



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