Managing Partner at Business Flipper | Private Capital | Private Equity | Private Debt | Mergers and Acquisitions | Business Coaching | Business Optimization
It's great that you're considering your exit now. Some buyers like to be the first capital to the table so having multiple rounds of funding may be fast no. While other buyers will get in on the fun and hope to make big wins once the company is public. Focus on building a good company with significant revenue...you will have no issue finding a buyer.
Upwork may not be a waste of time, how you're using Upwork may be a waste of time. But if Upwork just isn't working for you, try posting freelance jobs on job boards.
To the second part of your question, there is no 100% surefire way to ensure confidentiality. With that being said, success moves at the speed of trust.