Freelance marketplace oDesk announced today that more than $1 billion has been spent on its platform since the company’s inception.

The company says the modern work-from-anywhere culture — especially in startups — is creating huge opportunities for online workers and that the larger online-work market will grow to $5 billion over the next five years.

Currently, oDesk’s membership includes around 4 million freelancers with a wide variety of skills, and 58 percent of hiring companies are startups.

“Work is no longer a place,” said oDesk CEO Gary Swart in a statement on the news.

“Businesses are building flexible, distributed teams which create more economic opportunity for everyone. Online work is especially empowering startups in emerging hot spots, as the Internet connects them with the skilled professionals they need.”

oDesk was founded in 2005 and is based in Redwood City, Calif. The company has raised a total of $44 million over four rounds of funding.

Here’s a broader look at oDesk’s business and the market of work-from-anywhere freelancing (click to see larger version):

oDesk infographic

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