By Maximilian Clarke

Elance, an Internet platform used by businesses seeking independent workers online, today announced that it has secured US$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

“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 US$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.

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