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ODesk Raises $15 Million in Funding Round Led by T. Rowe Price

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- ODesk Corp., a provider of technology for hiring freelance workers remotely, raised $15 million in new funding and named former Expedia Inc. executive Gregory Stanger as its finance chief.

T. Rowe Price Group Inc., the Baltimore-based asset manager, led the financing, ODesk said today in a statement. Benchmark Capital, Globespan Capital Partners and Sigma Partners also joined the funding round, which brought the total amount raised by the Redwood City, California-based startup to $44 million.

ODesk’s software is used by more than 300,000 businesses to find, hire and pay contract workers in far-flung locations. The nine-year-old company said today that freelancers hired through its system are earning more than $300 million a year in total. ODesk is using its own technology, and has 230 contractors working remotely, three times the number of people it employs full-time, said Chief Executive Officer Gary Swart.

“We eat our own cooking to get work done,” Swart said in an interview. In addition to its U.S.-based software developers and technical workers, “we have a large support team, located in the Philippines, managed by stay-at-home moms in Texas and Tennessee,” he said.

Stanger will be taking the chief financial officer job after a stint as finance chief at online textbook-rental company Chegg Inc. Stanger previously held the same position at online travel site Expedia, and served on the board of Netflix Inc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Levy in San Francisco at alevy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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