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TMCNet:  Online Work Pioneer Elance Raises Capital to Fuel Growth

[January 24, 2012]

Online Work Pioneer Elance Raises Capital to Fuel Growth

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, Jan 24, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Elance, the Internet platform used by businesses to gain instant access to 1 million independent workers online, today announced that it has secured $16 Million in expansion capital led by the Stripes Group with existing investors, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, participating. The investment will fund Elance's growth as more businesses build contingent workforces in the cloud.

"It is clear that a structural change in traditional employment is underway," said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. "Work is no longer confined to the 9-5 and the office: people are working online with multiple clients as a career choice and companies are hiring online teams as a core business strategy. This investment will help Elance keep up with demand and continue to innovate work." Additionally, Dan Marriott, managing partner at Stripes Group, and Paul Hsiao, partner at NEA, were appointed to Elance's Board of Directors. Marriott, whose firm led the investment, brings extensive experience building market-leading Internet businesses such as Ticketmaster, Citysearch and Match.com.

"Elance has an impressive track record of innovation and growth. The company is leading the category of online work which is fast becoming a global market opportunity," said Ray Lane, managing partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. "We are excited to work with the Elance team to further develop and execute the company's strategy." In 2011, Elance experienced tremendous growth: the number of businesses hiring and the number of online professionals working on Elance grew more than 120 percent since 2010. Businesses posted more than 650,000 new jobs on Elance in 2011 and contractors have earned nearly $500 Million to date on the platform. Elance is a true global marketplace with more than 160 countries represented which actively use its online work platform.

About Elance Elance, the world's leading platform for online employment, helps businesses hire and manage in the cloud.

For businesses looking to staff-up a team on an hourly or project basis, Elance offers instant access to talent and the ability to build and manage entire teams online. For independent professionals who want to work online, Elance offers access to qualified clients, a virtual workplace and guaranteed pay for great work.

The company is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, California and Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit Elance at www.elance.com.

About Stripes Group Stripes Group, founded in 2003 and based in New York, is a private investment firm focused on growth-stage minority and majority investments in rapidly growing and profitable internet, software-as-a-service, technology-enabled services and branded consumer products companies. For more information, visit Stripes Group at www.stripesgroup.com.

About New Enterprise Associates New Enterprise Associates, Inc.

(NEA) is a leading venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With approximately $11 billion in committed capital, NEA invests in information technology, healthcare and energy technology companies at all stages in a company's lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm's long track record of successful investing includes more than 170 portfolio company IPOs and more than 280 acquisitions, including investments in technology leaders like Data Domain, CareerBuilder, Diapers.com, Fusion-io, Groupon, Juniper, Macromedia, Salesforce.com, and TiVo. In the U.S., NEA has offices Washington, D.C. and Menlo Park, California. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing), Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China. For more information, visit NEA at www.nea.com.

About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 companies in the energy, digital and life sciences industries. Today, KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 180 of the firm's portfolio companies have gone public; many others have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions. For more information visit KPCB at www.kpcb.com.

Media Contact: Emily Borders Borders+Gratehouse Phone: (415) 963-4174 ext. 1 Email: emily(at)bordersgratehouse.com SOURCE: Elance

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