Outside the Box: What Upwork needs to do to justify that stellar stock-market debut

Online freelance platform Upwork went public on Wednesday at $15 a share, above the projected range of $12-$14. The stock quickly shot up and closed at $21.18, giving it a market cap of around $2.2 billion. At its current valuation, Upwork currently earns our Unattractive rating.

Upwork UPWK, -0.99% is unprofitable (like a record 83% of IPOs so far this year), but there’s more reason to be optimistic about this IPO than many others we’ve looked at in the past. Even after the first-day pop, the company’s accelerating revenue growth and improving capital efficiency provide some reason to believe it could potentially justify its valuation (or at least prove appealing to a potential acquirer).

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