Upwork, a global marketplace for freelance work, found an enthusiastic reception for its Wall Street debut Wednesday.

Trading under the symbol UPWK, the company saw shares begin trading at $23. They rose to $23.49 before closing at $21.18, a 41 percent gain over the $15 offering price.

Even before its offering, Upwork saw positive signs, despite not having any profits. The company had raised the price of the 12.48 million shares it expected to sell from an earlier estimate of $12 to $14. At that price, the company would have been worth $1.5 billion; due to its sharp rise Wednesday, it is now worth $2.1 billion. …

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