Press releases

99designs surges to record growth – doubling its UK designer community since early last year

London – September 25th, 2014 A record surge in demand from SMEs searching for affordable design has seen the UK become the biggest European market for 99designs, the world’s largest marketplace for graphic design.

Highlighting its success in connecting over 225,000 businesses from 196 countries to quality designers from around the world, 99designs also announced:

  • Over 25% of its 850,000 registered designers – spread worldwide - are now based in the UK and Europe
  • It’s now paid more than £50 million to its global community of graphic designers
  • The increased popularity of the service means that today a new custom made design is created every three seconds

With Europe now identified as a key growth area, 99designs has doubled its operations in the region. The UK has now grown to become its largest market within Europe, boosted by a 60% year over year growth in British designers using the platform – along with a record number of design projects uploaded to its platform.

“With half a million UK business launching every year, graphic design is playing a major role in connecting them with their customers – both on and offline,” said Patrick Llewellyn, CEO of 99designs. “SMEs need quality graphic design at an affordable price – and each connection we make brings them a step closer to success, and a designer a step forward in shaping their career.”

To date, the 99designs community has completed over 333,000 design projects worldwide with the most popular categories including logo design, web design, mobile app design and business card design.

On a global scale, 99designs’ design community is the world’s largest – it’s now surpassed 850,000 designers and expected to exceed one million by early 2015. Collectively, the design community is on track to have earned more than £100 million by the end of next year.

“Businesses across the globe increasingly realize there’s an easier way for them to purchase quality design at great prices, and they are looking to 99designs for their creative needs,” said Patrick Llewellyn. “Our goal is to make great design accessible to everyone, and we’re well on our way to achieving this. 99designs is a company known for constantly evolving and expanding its operations to service the larger market need - as our continued growth and success highlights.”

About 99designs

99designs, the world’s largest graphic design marketplace, has helped over 225,000 businesses around the world access quality design at an affordable price. After pioneering crowd-sourced design contests, where businesses receive a wide variety of design concepts and choose their favorite, it expanded to provide services which allowed customers to work with individual designers, purchase design templates from the ready-made logo store, or get small tasks done within an hour through Swiftly. With more than 850,000 designers from most countries around the world, 99designs continues to help UK businesses reach branding success through great design created by a robust community of talented graphic designers. With local operations in London, Berlin, San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro, 99designs employs over 100 people. 99designs is backed by Accel Partners.

Eventbrite and 99designs Team Up to Offer Graphic Design Support to Event Organizers

San Francisco – August 4, 2014Eventbrite, the global self-service ticketing platform and events marketplace, and 99designs, the world’s largest marketplace for graphic design, today announced an integration that seamlessly connects event organizers to graphic designers, so they can source professional and unique banner designs for their event pages.

Through 99designs’ service Swiftly, Eventbrite event organizers can get small design jobs done quickly and effortlessly. Once an event organizer has created an event page on Eventbrite, they can visit swiftly.com/eventbrite, provide a description of the banner design they want, and a designer will be assigned to create the design within one hour, for $19. The new event page artwork can then be automatically uploaded to their event page.

“Eye-catching graphic design can attract people to your event page, but it can be hard to know where to turn for artistic help,” said Head of Platform Partnerships at Eventbrite, Dylan Serota. “Through our integration with 99designs, Eventbrite event organizers can tap into the well of talented Swiftly designers to help them create a striking event page.”

By partnering, Eventbrite and 99designs have simplified the marketing process for event organizers by eliminating the need to search for a designer, provide design specs, download the file created, and then upload it to the event page. Everything is handled behind the scenes; event organizers only need to submit their requests and then select the design they like.

“We are thrilled to extend our services and share our talented designer community with Eventbrite event organizers. Enabling organizers to get custom-designed event banners through our Swiftly service is the perfect solution for people seeking to stand out from the crowd and make their event a success,” said Patrick Llewellyn, President and CEO of 99designs.

The service is available today. For more information, visit the Eventbrite app page or swiftly.com/eventbrite.

About 99designs
99designs, the world’s largest graphic design marketplace, has helped over 225,000 businesses access quality design at an affordable price. 99designs pioneered crowdsourced design contests, where businesses receive a wide variety of design concepts and choose their favorite, and expanded to provide services for customers to work 1-on-1 with individual designers, purchase design templates from the ready-made logo store, or get small tasks done within an hour through Swiftly. With more than 310,000 designers from 192 countries around the world, 99designs’ suite of services helps businesses succeed through great design created by a robust community of talented graphic designers. 99designs is backed by Accel Partners.

About Eventbrite
Eventbrite enables people all over the world to plan, promote, and sell out any event, and has sold over 200 million tickets and registrations worldwide. In 2013 alone, the company processed $1 billion in gross ticket sales for attendees in 190 countries. The online event ticketing service makes it easy for everyone to discover events, and to share the events they are attending with the people they know. In this way, Eventbrite brings communities together by encouraging people to connect through live experiences. Eventbrite's investors include Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, T. Rowe Price, DAG Ventures, and Tenaya Capital. Learn more at http://www.eventbrite.com.

99designs.ie launches to provide Irish businesses and designers with enhanced access to the world’s largest graphic design marketplace

San Francisco – November 7, 201399designs, the world’s largest online graphic design marketplace, today launched an Irish version of its website at 99designs.ie. The new site will offer local support to customers and designers in the region, enabling them to connect and work together on design projects.

On a global level, 99designs connects businesses looking for design work with more than 250,000 graphic designers from 192 countries around the world. Businesses can source graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching a design contest to the community, working via 1-to-1 projects with individual designers, or purchasing design templates from 99designs’ readymade logo store.

“Ireland is already a solid market for 99designs and we expect to extend our reach significantly in the months ahead,” said Eva Missling, General Manager of Europe for 99designs. “The region’s startup scene is among the fastest growing in Europe and, coupled with recent government incentives geared toward getting more small businesses online, there is a tremendous demand for affordable quality design work. We’re excited to help meet it, and to help businesses in Ireland thrive.”

Irish designer and member of the 99designs community, Des Herrity, said: “Financially I’ve benefitted from being part of the 99designs network, but it also helped me improve as a designer and provided me with excellent design-related resources. I have participated in contests and I’ve also worked on follow-on projects as a result of connections made through these.”

European customers currently account for more than 15 percent of design contests on 99designs and globally 99designs has hosted more than 260,000 graphic design contests for startups, small businesses and other organizations worldwide, since its founding in 2008. In the same period, the company has paid out more than €44 million to its global community of graphic designers. Earlier this month, 99designs launched Swiftly, a first-of-its-kind, flat-fee service for small design tasks.

About 99designs
99designs is the world's largest graphic design marketplace, connecting businesses looking for design work with more than 250,000 graphic designers from 192 countries around the world. Businesses can source graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design contests to the community, working via 1-to-1 Projects with individual designers, or purchasing design templates from 99designs' readymade logo store. 99designs also runs Swiftly, a new site and service that helps customers get small design tasks done quickly and effortlessly. 99designs was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit 99designs.com.

Media contact (Europe):
Laura Grant, 33Seconds
07765634119
laura@33seconds.co

99designs Completes Second Acquisition with Purchase of Leading Brazilian Design Marketplace and launches 99designs.com.br

SAN FRANCISCO and SÃO PAULO – August 27, 201399designs, the largest online graphic design marketplace in the world, today announced it has acquired LogoChef, one of Brazil’s leading design marketplaces. 99designs has also launched a Portuguese version of its site at 99designs.com.br, and will now offer Portuguese-language support and local currency capability to customers and designers throughout the country.

“On the back of our successful launch last week of Swiftly, which significantly broadens our design product offering, we’re excited to be taking the next step in our globalization strategy with the acquisition of LogoChef,” said 99designs President and CEO Patrick Llewellyn. “With small businesses and startups driving 99 percent of Brazil’s economy, we have an extraordinary opportunity to connect a new group of our core customers with designers there and around the world.” Llewellyn is in São Paulo this week to deliver a keynote address at The Next Web Conference Latin America.

LogoChef is 99designs’ second acquisition; in August 2012, 99designs acquired Berlin-based European design marketplace 12Designer. The acquisition and new site are part of 99designs’ expansion strategy in Latin America, which kicked off in March 2013 with the launch of Spanish-language versions of 99designs in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile. LogoChef co-founder Dan Strougo has been named 99designs’ Country Manager for Brazil, and will oversee the company’s efforts from its Rio de Janeiro office.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Dan and the LogoChef community to 99designs. Dan’s experience in our industry, gleaned not only through building a successful marketplace but also as a long-time graphic designer himself, makes him a perfect fit for growing our Brazilian business,” added Llewellyn. “We’re very pleased with the strong momentum we’ve seen in Europe since acquiring 12Designer last year and localizing in five local languages. We have high expectations that with Dan at the helm in Brazil we’ll also see rapid adoption of our services there.”

“I’ve always admired 99designs and held it as a benchmark for LogoChef,” said Strougo. “Joining forces offers LogoChef designers and customers a wide range of new benefits and opportunities. Customers now have access to 99designs’ extensive global designer community, including a strong group of designers here in Brazil, and designers have the opportunity to work with tens of thousands of additional potential clients.”

In conjunction with the introduction of 99designs.com.br, 99designs has partnered with Startup Circuit Brazil to provide special promotions for its members. Startup Circuit organizes dozens of networking events annually in cities across Brazil to bring together entrepreneurs, startups, investors and accelerators.

99designs has hosted more than 235,000 graphic design contests for startups, small businesses and other organizations worldwide since its founding in 2008. In the same period, the company has paid out more than $60 million to its global community of more than 245,000 graphic designers. Earlier this month 99designs launched Swiftly, a first-of-its-kind, flat-fee service for small design tasks.

About 99designs
99designs is the world's largest graphic design marketplace, connecting businesses looking for design work with more than 240,000 graphic designers from 192 countries around the world. Businesses can source graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design contests to the community, working via 1-to-1 Projects with individual designers, or purchasing design templates from 99designs' readymade logo store. 99designs also runs Swiftly, a new site and service that helps customers get small design tasks done quickly and effortlessly. 99designs was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit 99designs.com.

Media contact (Worldwide):

Lauren Gard, 99designs
1-510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

Media contact (Australia):

Emma Maidment, 99designs
03 9417 5661
emma.maidment@99designs.com

Media contact (Brazil):

Polyana Ferrari, NR-7 Communications
(55 11) 2389-5807
polyana@nr-7comunicacao.com.br

99designs breaks new ground with the launch of Swiftly.com to meet demand for fast graphic design fixes

SAN FRANCISCO – August 13, 2013 – Online graphic design marketplace 99designs, which has paid out more than $60 million to its global design community since 2008, today announced the launch of Swiftly.com, a first-of-its-kind service for small design tasks. Swiftly enables customers to get existing graphic design files altered by professional graphic designers within hours.

“Swiftly is part of 99designs' broader plan to change the paradigm for how businesses worldwide get graphic design work done and how designers earn money,” said 99designs President and CEO Patrick Llewellyn. “99designs contests have connected more than 230,000 customers with our extensive community of skilled designers. Now, with Swiftly, we’re introducing an entirely different model for businesses to get smaller design tasks done quickly and effortlessly. Swiftly’s launch underscores our determination to provide a full spectrum of graphic design solutions for customers and more opportunities for designers.”

Typical uses of Swiftly include altering logos, business cards, banner ads, marketing templates and icons; retouching, cropping and resizing photos; and vectorizing images. The process is fast and easy: customers simply upload design files, indicate the modifications required, and pay a flat $15 fee. A member of the Swiftly designer community claims the “task,” completes it, and delivers it to the customer within a few hours. After the customer reviews and approves the task, Swiftly facilitates handover of the design files to the customer and issues payment to the designer.

Swiftly designers are a curated group from 99designs’ community of more than 240,000 graphic designers in 192 countries. 99designs staff hand-selected these designers based on their design skill and hours of availability to ensure rapid turnaround 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Swiftly grew out of our awareness that many people don’t know where to turn for a quick graphic design project, either because they don’t employ in-house designers or their designers are tied up with more substantial projects,” said 99designs Chief Technology Officer Lachlan Donald, who led the team that developed Swiftly. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to develop a totally new service that fulfills a real need for customers and gives freelance designers another way to make money. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

About Swiftly
Swiftly is a new site and service from 99designs that helps customers get small design tasks done quickly and effortlessly. Customers simply upload a design file they need altered to Swiftly.com, pay a $15 fee, and get their completed project back in 24 hours or less. Each project is completed by an experienced member of Swiftly's design community.

About 99designs
99designs is the world's largest graphic design marketplace, connecting businesses looking for design work with more than 240,000 graphic designers from 192 countries around the world. Businesses can source graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design contests to the community, working via 1-to-1 Projects with individual designers, or purchasing design templates from 99designs' readymade logo store. 99designs also runs Swiftly, the new design task service that helps customers get small design tasks done quickly and effortlessly. 99designs was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit 99designs.com.

Media contact (US/Worldwide):

Lauren Gard, 99designs
1-510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

99designs Pushes Hard Into Asia with Launch of New Singapore Site, Regional Design Community Tour and Hiring of Local Staff

SAN FRANCISCO – June 4, 201399designs, the world’s largest graphic design marketplace, today announced it is accelerating its expansion in Asia with the launch of a new site for the Singapore market, an extensive tour of its large and active designer communities in Indonesia and the Philippines, and the hiring of regional design consultants to better serve the needs of customers throughout Asia.

“Word-of-mouth adoption of 99designs’ design contest model in Asia has been amazing since we launched 99designs five years ago, and we are now ready to more formally invest in accelerating our growth there,” said Patrick Llewellynn, president and CEO of 99designs. “Our customer bases in regional startup hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong have grown at a remarkable pace, and some of our largest and most successful design communities are in Indonesia and the Philippines.”

Launch of 99designs.com.sg
Jason Sew Hoy, Chief Operating Officer and Asia-Pacific General Manager of 99designs, is in Singapore this week to celebrate the launch of 99designs.com.sg with local customers and designers, as well as to speak at CrowdsourcingWeek, Echelon and Startup Grind Singapore. The new site enables Singapore customers to purchase design work on 99designs using local currency and access support through a local phone number. Singapore is one of 99designs’ top markets, with one of its highest sales per capita. 99designs.com.sg is 99designs’ second country site in Asia; last year the company launched a successful local-currency site for the Hong Kong market at 99designs.hk.

Design Community Tour
99designs Community Director Jason Aiken and a team of designer community liaisons have begun a two-week tour of Indonesia and the Philippines, where they will host numerous design events reaching thousands of designers, including a full-day National Conference for Indonesian designers in Yogyakarta on June 7.

Indonesia and the Philippines are among 99designs’ top designer markets, with thousands of designers in those regions earning a living by winning design contests on 99designs and carrying out follow-on work for clients they meet on the site. 99designs has paid out more than $10 million USD to graphic designers in Indonesia and the Philippines alone since its launch in 2008 – more than any other design marketplace has paid out to their entire global design community. In total, 99designs has paid out $54 million USD to its designer community of more than 225,000 designers from 192 countries.

“The request for 99designs to visit Indonesia and the Philippines came directly from our designers, dozens of whom have worked with us to plan a full calendar of events,” said Aiken. “Our designers in these countries are incredibly proactive, and have already organized many meetups on their own to form social and professional networks. We couldn’t be more excited and delighted to meet them in person to provide support and education.”

Hiring of Regional Staff
To help support its rapid growth in the region, 99designs has hired a staff of three design consultants based in The Philippines. These support staff will help ensure 24/7 customer support for the Asia-Pacific markets and will be available to help customers write design briefs and facilitate their contests.

“We’re working closely with our new staff in the Philippines and will continually evaluate the need for additional staff in other countries,” said Sew Hoy. “We’ve learned a lot about how best to approach internationalization over the past year in the course of launching nine new sites across Europe and Latin America, and we’re looking forward to applying those learnings as we focus on building our presence throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”

About 99designs
99designs is the world's largest online graphic design marketplace, connecting businesses looking for design work with more than 220,000 graphic designers from 192 countries around the world. Businesses can source graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design contests to the community, working 1-on-1 with individual designers, or purchasing design templates from 99designs' readymade logo store. The company was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit 99designs.com.

Media contact:
Lauren Gard (US/Worldwide)
1-510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

Emma Maidment (Asia Pacific)
T: +613 9417 5661
emma.maidment@99designs.com

99designs Expands to the Netherlands with a Dutch-Language Version of its World-Class Graphic Design Marketplace

99designs, the largest online graphic design marketplace in the world, today introduced a Dutch version of its site at 99designs.nl and will now offer Dutch-language support and local currency capability to customers and designers.

“99designs has loved the Netherlands since our first Dutch customer launched a design contest the week we opened for business five years ago. Today, the Netherlands is among 99designs’ top ten markets thanks to the many startups and small businesses across the region who use our design marketplace to brand their companies,” said 99designs President and CEO Patrick Llewellyn, who announced the launch of 99designs.nl today during a talk at The Next Web’s Conference Europe 2013 in Amsterdam. “As the Dutch startup scene accelerates, we’re looking forward to helping even more entrepreneurs there source great graphic design work by connecting them with the talented designers in our community.”

In conjunction with the launch, 99designs announced a partnership with Rockstart Accelerator, the Netherlands’ leading startup incubator, to provide customized design upgrades to the hundreds of innovative companies in their network. Founded in 2011, Rockstart Accelerator provides seed investment, six months of office space, mentors, and coaching by entrepreneurs-in residence to help promising startups launch and succeed.

“99designs is already a trusted design resource for Dutch startups needing affordable logos and other collateral, and launching a localized version of the site will help even more entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality,” said Rockstart Founder Oscar Kneppers. “Through our partnership with 99designs, Rockstart participants now have a key tool for building their brands quickly and efficiently. Boom!”

To celebrate the launch and the April 30th inauguration of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander to the Dutch throne, 99designs is inviting graphic designers in the Netherlands and around the world to enter 99designs’ "Design a Business Card Fit for the King” community contest. The winning designer will receive a €500 cash prize and be featured in 99designs’ blog and across its social media channels.

99designs has hosted more than 200,000 graphic design contests for startups, small businesses and other organizations worldwide since its founding in 2008. In the same period, the company has paid out €40 million to its global community of more than 220,000 graphic designers.

About 99designs
99designs is the world's largest online graphic design marketplace, connecting businesses looking for design work with more than 220,000 graphic designers from 192 countries around the world. Businesses can source graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design contests to the community, working 1-on-1 with individual designers, or purchasing design templates from 99designs' readymade logo store. The company was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit 99designs.com.

Media contact (Worldwide):
Lauren Gard, 99designs
1-510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

Media contact (The Netherlands):
Remco Janssen, Proudly Presents PR
T: +31(0)614787713
remco@remcojanssen.com

99designs Launches in Latin America to Provide Native-Language Access to its World-Class Graphic Design Marketplace

99designs, the largest online graphic design marketplace in the world, today launched localized Spanish-language versions of its service in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. The company has appointed a Regional Manager for Latin America to manage the new sites, and will now offer Spanish-language support and local currency capability to customers and designers.

“The establishment of new government initiatives to fuel business innovation and a significant increase in venture capital investments in Latin America over the past several years has set the stage for tremendous expansion in the region’s startup and small business sectors,” said 99designs President and CEO Patrick Llewellyn. “We’re excited to help Latin America’s entrepreneurs source quality, affordable graphic design by connecting them with thousands of talented designers from their own countries and around the world.”

99designs has named Angela Peña its Regional Manager for Latin America. Peña will be responsible for overseeing 99designs’ expansion throughout the region, including managing 99designs’ Latin American design community, leading marketing efforts, and building strategic local partnerships with startups, design groups and other organizations. Peña previously worked as Country Manager for Latin America and Spain at Talenthouse, an online marketplace connecting artists across a range of disciplines with celebrities and major brands.

“Having worked for several years with an amazing and diverse range of graphic designers in Latin America, I am eager to connect those designers with 99designs’ large and fast-growing pool of global clientele,” said Peña. “Our new Spanish-language sites will help designers and clients in Latin American work more efficiently on 99designs and develop longer-term collaborative working relationships with each other.”

In conjunction with the launch of its Latin American sites, 99designs also debuted a localized version of its site in Spain and a site for Spanish speakers in the United States. 99designs’ Spanish-language expansion comes fast on the heels of the marketplace’s introduction of localized versions of its service in Germany, France and Italy in the preceding six months.

To celebrate the launch of its Spanish-language sites and the strength of its Spanish-speaking designers, 99designs is sponsoring a “99designs Habla Español” t-shirt design contest. Designers are invited to create original t-shirts designs incorporating the phrase “99designs Habla Español” and will award up to five winners, each of whom will receive $500 and be featured across 99designs blog and social media channels.

99designs has hosted 200,000 graphic design contests for startups, small businesses and other organizations worldwide since its founding in 2008. In the same period, the company has paid out $50 million to its community of more than 210,000 graphic designers.

About 99designs
99designs is the world's largest online graphic design marketplace, connecting businesses looking for design work with more than 210,000 graphic designers from 192 countries around the world. Businesses can source graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design contests to the community, working 1-on-1 with individual designers, or purchasing design templates from 99designs' readymade logo store. The company was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit 99designs.com.

Media contact (Worldwide):
Lauren Gard, 99designs
510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

99designs Parla Italiano! World’s Largest Graphic Design Marketplace Launches 99designs.it as Italian Startup Scene Booms

99designs, the largest online graphic design marketplace in the world, today launched a localized Italian-language version of its site at 99designs.it. The company has appointed a Country Manager to manage the new Italian site and will now offer Italian-language support to customers and designers in the region.

“With Italy’s startup scene really taking off in recent months, it seemed the ideal time to give Italian entrepreneurs a native-language version of 99designs to help brand their companies and get to market quickly,” said 99designs President and CEO Patrick Llewellyn. “As one of the most design-centric countries in the world, Italy has been an important part of 99designs’ European success to date. We already have a strong customer and designer base there and look forward to significant growth in 2013 and beyond.”

99designs has named Giulia Depentor its Italian Country Manager. Depentor joined 99designs in August 2012 with its acquisition of Berlin-based 12designer, where she managed the company’s Italian-language services. In her new role Depentor will be responsible for overseeing 99designs’ expansion in Italy, from leading marketing and community management efforts to building strategic local partnerships with startups and other organizations.

The launch of 99designs.it marks 99designs’ third new foreign-language offering in less than five months and the continuation of the company’s broad European expansion plans. In September 99designs launched 99designs.de for German speaking customers and designers, and in November introduced 99designs.fr for the French market.

“The rapid adoption of 99designs in Germany and France following our introduction of localized sites in these countries is a clear indication that offering regionally tailored platforms and support is critical,” said Eva Missling, 99designs’ General Manager of Europe and founder of 12designer. “Giulia’s passion, experience, and knowledge of the local language, culture and startup community make her the ideal candidate to lead our expansion efforts in Italy.”

To celebrate the launch of 99designs.it, 99designs and Italian entrepreneur platform Startupbusiness are inviting startups based in Italy to participate in 99designs Loves Italian Startups!. Nine startups will be selected to receive a free design contest (valued at up to 479 €), and will be featured on 99designs.it and Startupbusiness.it. Complete details and the application form can be found at 99designs.com/customer-blog/99designs-launches-italian-site-at-99designs-it/.

Since its founding in 2008, 99designs has hosted more than 185,000 graphic design contests for startups, small businesses and other organizations around the world. In the same period, the company has paid out more than $45 million to its community of 200,000 graphic designers from around the world. European customers currently account for more than 15 percent of design contests on 99designs.

About 99designs
99designs is the world's largest online graphic design marketplace, connecting businesses looking for design work with more than 200,000 graphic designers from 192 countries around the world. Businesses can source graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design contests to the community, working 1-on-1 with individual designers, or purchasing design templates from 99designs' readymade logo store. The company was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit 99designs.com.

Media contact (Worldwide):
Lauren Gard, 99designs
(Worldwide)
510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

Media contact (Italy):
Laura Codispoti, Theoria
+39 02 202215
laurac@theoria.it

99designs Launches Localized French-Language Site at 99designs.fr

å99designs, the largest online graphic design marketplace in the world, today announced it has launched a localized French-language version of its site at 99designs.fr. In addition, the company has hired a Country Manager for France in Paris and will now offer French-language support to its customers in the region. The moves signify important next steps in 99design’s European growth initiatives following its August acquisition of multilingual European creative design marketplace 12designer and September launch of 99designs.de, the company’s first non-English language site.

“As one of the cornerstone economies of the European Union, France is already an important market for 99designs. One of our key strategic goals this year has been to introduce a French-language site, on-the-ground local leadership and support for the French market,” said 99designs President and CEO Patrick Llewellyn. “We’re very excited this is now a reality. Under the capable leadership of our new country manager in Paris, Siham Belouadheh, we are well positioned to learn, adapt and aggressively grow our services in France.”

Belouadheh joins 99designs with experience in public relations, business development and marketing management; most recently she led marketing and business development activities for Kaplan in France and Belgium. As country manager for France, she will oversee 99design’s French expansion from Paris and be tasked with growing awareness and adoption of the design marketplace among French designers, business owners, and local technology entrepreneurs and startup communities.

“France is a critical part of our early European success. We’re pleased to welcome Siham to the team and expect that her leadership and our new service offerings will accelerate our expansion there and in other French-speaking regions of Europe,” said Eva Missling, 99designs’ General Manager of Europe and founder of 12designer, with whom Belouadheh will work closely. “The launch of 99designs.fr will allow French customers to run contests more efficiently and effectively, and will encourage more skilled French graphic designers to participate on our platform.”

99designs has hosted more than 175,000 graphic design contests for small businesses, startups and other organizations around the world since its founding in 2008. In the same period, the company has paid out more than $43 million to its community of 190,000 graphic designers from around the world. European customers currently account for more than 15 percent of design contests on 99designs.

About 99designs
99designs is the world's largest online graphic design marketplace, connecting businesses looking for design work with more than 190,000 graphic designers from 192 countries around the world. Businesses can source graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design contests to the community, working 1-on-1 with individual designers, or purchasing design templates from 99designs' readymade logo store. The company was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit 99designs.com.

Media contact (Worldwide):
Lauren Gard
510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

Media contact (France): Jean-François Kitten, Licence K
+33(0)1 45 03 21 77 (office)
+33(0)6 11 29 30 28 (mobile)
jf@licencek.com

99designs Announces Acquisition of European Design Marketplace 12designer

99designs, the largest online graphic design marketplace in the world, today announced it has acquired Berlin-based, Grupo Intercom financed company 12designer, the leading creative design marketplace in Germany and the second largest in Europe after 99designs. The acquisition is 99designs’ first and signals the company’s ongoing focus on international expansion via localization following its $35 million Series A investment led by Accel Partners last year.

Germany is 99design’s number one non-English language market, its fifth largest overall and one of its fastest growing. Despite minimal marketing in Germany and other European countries, European small businesses and startups have accounted for approximately 15 percent of the 155,000 graphic design contests held on 99designs’ English-language site to date. The 12designer acquisition will allow 99designs to better meet the needs of European customers by providing support in their own languages and time zones.

“We’re very excited to welcome 12designer Founder and CEO Eva Missling and her talented team into the 99designs family. We believe their deep regional marketplace expertise and multi-lingual capabilities will prove instrumental in accelerating our delivery of truly localized world-class design services to European businesses and designers,” said 99designs CEO Patrick Llewellyn. “This acquisition enables us to build significantly on our existing momentum and resources in Europe and gives us an ideally situated base in Berlin. As the tech startup and design hub of Europe, there is no better place from which to implement our aggressive regional growth plans.”

In conjunction with the announcement, 99designs has named Missling the company’s new General Manager of Europe. She will be tasked with optimizing localization of 99designs services for European markets, accelerating growth in Germany and across Europe, and building a 99designs team in Berlin. She will also continue to oversee 12designer, which boasts a community of more than 20,000 designers interacting with customers in German, French, Spanish, Italian and English. 12designer will continue to operate as a stand-alone site in the near term.

“The 12designer team is eager to join 99designs and further our shared vision of connecting businesses seeking affordable, high-quality design services with skilled designers,” said Missling. “The combination of 99designs’ global reach and resources, 12designers’ regional experience, and the enormous multilingual talent pool here in Berlin will be a win for Europe’s small business owners and designers alike.”

Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

About 99designs
99designs is the world's largest online graphic design marketplace, connecting businesses looking for design work with more than 175,000 graphic designers from 192 countries around the world. Businesses can source graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design contests to the community, working 1-on-1 with individual designers, or purchasing design templates from 99designs' readymade store. The company was co- founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit www.99designs.com.

About 12designer
12designer, the largest German marketplace for crowdsourced creative design services, enables businesses to source custom logo design, print design, website design, slogans, naming services, and other creative work from a community of more than 20,000 professional creatives throughout Europe. Berlin-based 12designer was founded by Eva Missling together with Grupo Intercom and offers services in German, Spanish, French, Italian and English.

Media contact (Worldwide):
Lauren Gard
510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

Media contact (Australia):
Caroline Shawyer
+61 (0) 401 496 334
caroline@prgroup.com.au

99designs survey: Startups and other small businesses expect design to become increasingly important to their success

We hear a lot from business and technology pundits that design is becoming an increasingly important factor in the success of companies, but does that sentiment trickle down to the people actually running small businesses and deciding how much emphasis to place on design work? To find out, 99designs polled 1,500 small business owners, start-ups, entrepreneurs and design decision-makers on graphic design and its importance to their business.

The results sent a clear message: small businesses really do care about design, and expect it to become increasingly important to their success in the years ahead.

Here are the key findings, which you can see illustrated in our infographic:

  • Small businesses consider design important to their success: 80% of small business owners consider the design of their logos, websites, marketing materials and other branding tools either “very important” or “important” to the success of their companies. Just 3% indicated design is “not important.”
  • Design will only become more important to business success in coming years: 67% expect graphic design to play an increasingly significant role in business success over the next five years.
  • Small businesses plan to spend more on graphic design in the coming year: 78% of survey respondents anticipate their companies will spend the same or more on graphic design work in 2012. Only 21% plan to spend less.
  • Affordability continues to be a factor for small businesses: 65% of small business owners said they would pay up to $500 for a new custom logo; 20% indicated they would pay as much as $1,000; and 15% indicated they would spend more than $1,000. With these numbers in mind, it’s not surprising to learn that the majority of small businesses are still taking a DIY approach: More than 50% source design work in-house or do it themselves, while 21% use freelancers, and 18% run crowdsourced design contests on sites like 99designs. Only 7% work with design agencies.
  • Blue is the color small business owners most associate with success: Fifty-seven percent of respondents associate the color blue with success; the second most cited color is green (35%) followed by white (32%), black (29%) and red (21%). Purple was the color male respondents least often associate with success, while women were least likely to select orange.
  • Apple topped the lists for best logo and best website, while Wal-Mart topped the worst lists for both categories: Asked to name the companies with the best and worst logos and websites, those identified most often were (in order of frequency):
    • Best logos: Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, Google and FedEx
    • Worst logos: Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Pepsi, IBM and Google
    • Best websites: Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Nike
    • Worst websites: Wal-Mart, Yahoo, Facebook, MySpace and Microsoft

About 99designs
The 99designs Business Design Survey was conducted online from March 2012 to May 2012. The 1,500 respondents were evenly split between 99designs customers and non-customers holding design decision-making roles within their companies who were polled through market research firm Ask your Target Market.

Media contact (Worldwide):
Lauren Gard
510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

99designs Challenges Its Design Community: Make Us a New Homepage!

99designs the largest online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services, is challenging its own community of more than 150,000 graphic designers to revamp its homepage. The 99designs Homepage Redesign Contest kicks off today and will accept entries through May 14.

Submissions will be judged by 99designs staff and a panel of industry experts including Joe Gebbia, co-founder and CPO of Airbnb; Arem Duplessis, Design Director for The New York Times Magazines; Eric Ries, author of the bestselling book “The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” and the blog “Startup Lessons Learned”; and Mark Harbottle, a serial entrepreneur who co-founded 99designs, Flippa and SitePoint, among other companies, and has played an instrumental role in shaping the products at all of them. (Additional information about the judges can be found here.)

99designs will choose up to three winning homepage designs, and will award a $1,000 cash prize to each winning designer. Following the contest, 99designs will test the homepage designs using its internal testing methodologies, and will incorporate winning elements into the next version of its homepage.

“We’ve always believed in ‘eating our own dog food,’ starting with the 99designs logo design contest we held in our early days,” said 99designs CEO Patrick Llewellyn. “No one knows us better than the thousands of graphic designers who spend hours every day interacting with customers in our marketplace, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with for 99designs.”

Designers who wish to participate in the 99designs Homepage Redesign Contest can register for free and review contest details on the contest page.

About 99designs
99designs, the largest online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services, enables businesses to source custom logo design, web design, t-shirt design, print design and other graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design contests to a global community of more than 150,000 designers in 192 countries. In addition to its design contests, 99designs provides a 1-to-1 invoicing system that enables designers and customers to work together efficiently, and offers a ready-made logo store stocked with more than 20,000 high-quality logos available for customization and sale right off the shelf. The company was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit www.99designs.com.

Media contact (Worldwide):
Lauren Gard
510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

Media contact (Australia):
Caroline Shawyer
+61 (0) 401 496 334
caroline@prgroup.com.au

99designs Moves Into New San Francisco Headquarters

99designs the largest online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services, celebrated its move into its new downtown San Francisco headquarters last night with a kick-off party attended by dozens of movers and shakers in the Silicon Valley startup scene.

99designs launched its U.S. presence in 2010 with just two employees in San Francisco. Today, 32 employees work out of the new space including CEO Patrick Llewellyn, the majority of the company’s executive team and many of the marketing, customer support and design community support team members.

“We designed the San Francisco office with room to grow our head count and to house visitors from our Australian team and the community at large,” said Llewellyn. “We’ve invested heavily in outfitting the space with state-of-the-art video conferencing technology in multiple locations – even our café area and kitchen – to enable for global all-hands meetings and constant connectivity between our teams.”

Located at 447 Battery Street at the border of the Financial District and historic Jackson Square, the 576 square metre (6,200 sq. ft.) full-floor office features expansive wood-beamed ceilings and exposed brick walls displaying poster-sized prints of winning logo designs created by 99designs’ designers. Another highlight: a mural of the San Francisco skyline painted by two 99designs community team members.

99designs’ Melbourne-based staff has grown as well, to 20, and the United Kingdom, where 99designs launched a localized website in February, is currently home to two team members.

About 99designs
99designs, the largest online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services, enables businesses to source custom logo design, web design, t-shirt design, print design and other graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design projects to a global community of more than 150,000 designers in 192 countries. In addition to its design contests, 99designs provides a 1-to-1 invoicing system that enables designers and customers to work together efficiently, and offers a ready-made logo store stocked with more than 13,000 high-quality logos available for customization and sale right off the shelf. The company was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit www.99designs.com.

Media contact (Worldwide):
Lauren Gard
510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

99designs Launches UK Site, Targets UK Designers and Businesses as Key Step in Global Expansion

99designs, the largest online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services, announced today it has launched into the UK at 99designs.co.uk and begun hiring staff locally as part of its strategic international growth plan. The company was founded in Melbourne in 2008 and began building out its San Francisco headquarters in 2010 - the UK will be the company’s launch pad for its European expansion.

“The UK has been a significant market for 99designs from the very beginning in terms of the design talent and customer base we’ve attracted there,” said CEO Patrick Llewellyn. “We’re looking forward to building a strong presence on the ground to help UK designers build their businesses, enable companies of all scope and size to source affordable high-quality graphic design work, and enhance and expand our services on all fronts.”

The UK is among 99designs’ fastest-growing major markets — the company has increased its monthly UK design contests 120% year over year, and expects accelerated growth as it ramps marketing and local outreach activities. 99designs has held more than 120,000 design contests on its site to date in categories ranging from logo, stationery and t-shirt design to website and mobile app design, and expects to surpass 200,000 design contests by year-end.

Some of 99designs’ top graphic designers reside in the UK, including Michael Kirby of Newcastle in the northeast of England. Kirby has made more than $30,000 in the last six months through a combination of designer payouts secured on 99designs plus ongoing client work sourced through the marketplace. 99designs has distributed more than $30 million to designers worldwide since its inception and projects it will pay out $25 million in 2012 alone.

“99designs offers the perfect solution for talented designers living in the north of England or less commercial areas to find work on a global stage without having to relocate, allowing them to grow and develop their business with little risk or overhead,” said Kirby, who was prompted to join 99designs after his design business took a hit in the recession. “I now have a huge amount of content and glowing testimonials from clients to populate the new business website I’m launching.”

UK businesses that have used 99designs for their graphic design needs include technology startups like Cambridge-based Hubflow, an enterprise mobile learning platform; brick and mortar retail outlets including London café and patisserie Le Petit Village; and charities such as KiDs of Bolton, founded by Bolton Wanderers captain Kevin Davies and his wife, Emma Davies.

About 99designs
99designs, the largest online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services, enables businesses to source custom logo design, web design, t-shirt design, print design and other graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design projects to a global community of more than 140,000 designers in 192 countries. In addition to its design contests, 99designs provides a 1-to-1 invoicing system that enables designers and customers to work together efficiently, and offers a ready-made logo store stocked with more than 13,000 high-quality logos available for customization and sale right off the shelf. The company was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit www.99designs.com.

Media contact (Worldwide):
Lauren Gard
510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

Media contact (UK):
Marc Ambasna-Jones
+44 (0) 1225 481734
marc@marcompr.net

Media contact (Australia):
Caroline Shawyer
+61 (0) 401 496 334
caroline@prgroup.com.au

99designs Doubles Monthly Design Contests and Designer Payouts, Adds Key Executives and Staff to Fuel Growth

99designs, the largest online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services, today announced it has doubled the number of monthly design contests held on its site year over year, hired key staff and executives to meet growing demand, and expects significantly accelerated growth in 2012.

99designs continues to experience substantial growth across its graphic design categories, including logo, web, t-shirt and print design, as well as new categories such as mobile app design. The four-year-old company, which has held more than 115,000 design contests on its site to date, has doubled the run rate of new contests from a year ago and is on track to surpass 200,000 design contests by year end.

The amount of money 99designs distributes to its designers each month continues to surge—99designs expects to pay out approximately $1.5 million to its design community for contests held in January 2012, twice what designers earned for January contests last year. 99designs has paid out more than $29 million to designers to date and projects it will pay out $25 million to its designer community in 2012. Top designers on 99designs have reported earning more than $10,000 per month from a combination of designer payouts earned on 99designs plus ongoing client work sourced through the marketplace.

Doubling Staff and Executive Hires
To meet growing demand, 99designs has doubled its staff to more than 50 employees in less than a year and hired two key executives: Jeff Titterton as Chief Marketing Officer and Caroline Moon as Chief Financial Officer.

“2011 was a stand-out year for 99designs, from rapid growth in design contests and payouts to the successful launch of the first localized versions of our site in Australia and Canada,” said CEO Patrick Llewellyn. “In 2012 we’re focused on continuous improvement of our services as crowdsourced graphic design enters the mainstream. Caroline and Jeff not only have the experience we need at this next stage of growth, they are also passionate about design, which makes them a great fit for our team and community.”

Titterton comes to 99designs with strong brand management, marketing and international experience, including his most recent post as VP of Marketing at social dating company Zoosk, where he led the company’s aggressive global expansion. He has also served as VP of Marketing at IMVU and SVP of Consumer Marketing and Services at PlanetOut, Inc.

“What I love about 99designs is that it solves a major pain point felt by so many of my colleagues—sourcing professional graphic design quickly and affordably,” said Titterton. “I’m looking forward to the next phase of our evolution as we focus on expanding our customer base and refining our services to better meet the needs of both designers and customers.”

Moon brings financial and analytical leadership, with particular expertise in online marketplace strategy. She previously served as CFO of independent ad exchange AdBrite and prior to that worked in a series of marketplace strategy and analysis roles at online marketplace eBay and Credit Suisse First Boston.

“99designs has been profitable since its inception – and that isn’t something many CFOs at venture-backed startups can say,” said Moon. “The confidence our investors have in us and the powerful engagement of our customers and designers is a testament to the strength of the crowdsourced model we’ve created. I’m looking forward to helping the company navigate the road ahead as we shift into our next phase of growth.”

About 99designs
99designs, the largest online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services, enables businesses to source custom logo design, web design, t-shirt design, print design and other graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design projects to a global community of more than 140,000 designers in 192 countries. In addition to its design contests, 99designs provides a 1-to-1 invoicing system that enables designers and customers to work together efficiently, and offers a ready-made logo store stocked with more than 13,000 high-quality logos available for customization and sale right off the shelf. The company was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit 99designs.com.

Media contact (Worldwide):
Lauren Gard
510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

Media contact (Australia):
Caroline Shawyer
+61 (0) 401 496 334
caroline@prgroup.com.au

99designs Establishes Design Student Fund to Celebrate 99,999th Design Contest

October 11, 2011 – Today, 99designs, 99,999th design contest by establishing a $99,999 fund for design students. Since 2008, 99designs has pioneered the crowdsourced graphic design market by helping designers and small businesses around the world work together and build lasting relationships.

"It has been an exhilarating ride to 99,999 contests," said Mark Harbottle, co-founder of 99designs. "What better way to celebrate than by offering additional support to design students across the globe as they acquire the skills they need to build their careers."

99designs will award 1,010 x $99 bonus payments to students on top of every contest prize won, until the $99,999 cash pool runs out.

Every month over $1.2 million dollars is paid out to designers in the 99designs community as a result of design work commissioned by small businesses from around the world. In just over three years 99designs has:

  • Built a community of over 125,000 designers in over 192 countries
  • Paid a total of $25 million to its designers
  • Uploaded a new design to the site every 6 seconds
  • Placed over 13,000 logos available for customization and sale in its logo store
  • Launched 99,999 design contests to date

"In the past year alone we've more than doubled our contest volume and made it significantly easier and more valuable for small businesses and designers alike to use our service. We also secured investment from leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm Accel Partners. This investment has enabled us to accelerate our growth and launch localized editions of our site in key markets," said Patrick Llewellyn, CEO of 99designs. "I want to thank our community of talented designers, the myriad of small businesses who use the service and our amazing team in Australia and San Francisco -- we couldn't have done it without you. Here's to the next 99,999 contests!"

99designs connects small businesses needing custom design work such as logos and websites to a global community of over 125,000 designers. Businesses benefit from engaging with multiple designers simultaneously making it easier to build the right relationship while designers are exposed to upwards of 1,200 new client opportunities at any given time and can showcase their work on a level playing field.

For more information about the Design Student Fund please see: http://99designs.com/designers

Contact:
Lauren Gard
510-246-1366
lauren.gard@99designs.com

Accel Partners Leads $35 Million Investment in 99designs to Drive Global Expansion

99designs, the largest online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services, announced a $35 million first-round investment led by Accel Partners, with participation from angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck), and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace).

Andrew Braccia and Ryan Sweeney of Accel Partners will join 99design’s Board of Directors, along with Michael Dearing, 99designs co-founder Mark Harbottle, and company CEO Patrick Llewellyn.

99designs was founded in Melbourne, Australia in February 2008, when co-founders Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz – the entrepreneurs behind sitepoint.com, Flippa.com and Learnable.com – spun it out of the SitePointForums. 99designs, which employs 26 staff in Melbourne and San Francisco, was bootstrapped and is profitable, and has enjoyed 120 percent year-on-year growth.

  • 99designs has over 100,000 designers in 192 countries.
  • The company has paid out over $19 million to designers to date.
  • 99designs has hosted 75,000 projects, resulting in a new design uploaded every six seconds.
  • There are more than 10,000 logos available for customization and sale in their logo store.

The new capital will be invested in international expansion, platform development, community initiatives like design scholarships, and aggressive hiring in San Francisco and Melbourne.

99designs is Accel Partners’ third investment in Australia, including Atlassian Software and OzForex.

Accel Partner Andrew Braccia said: “Accel Partners has a history of investing in online businesses that cater to the ever changing needs of small business owners and independent professionals. 99designs has quickly become a global market leader in its category, providing an invaluable service to its customers and their global community of design professionals. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to assist in the company’s next phase of growth.”

Michael Dearing, whose private investments include Admob (Google), Heroku (Salesforce.com) and Mix Labs (Twitter) said: “99designs caught my attention when I realized that nearly every one of the early stage companies and entrepreneurs I work with was turning to them to get great design work done. The team has created a marketplace that is easy for companies to get onboard with, and is also a boon for designers who can go after any of the hundreds of jobs open at any one time.”

99designs Co-Founder Mark Harbottle said: “I’m thrilled that Accel see the same potential in 99designs that we do. This obviously presents a fantastic opportunity for the 99designs team, but I’m most excited about what we have in store for our loyal community of designers, and the hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world who use 99designs.com. I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”

99designs CEO Patrick Llewellyn said: “This is an exciting time for the company as it pushes forward with expansion in several key areas. We now have the benefit of our talented and dedicated team, coupled with the best technology investors around. The board and shareholder advisors we have in place provide us with exceptional experience and insight to help guide our future growth.”

About 99designs

99designs is the #1 marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services. Its ready-made logo store has over 10,000 high-quality logos available for customization and sale right off the shelf for $99, and its Design Contest Marketplace enables businesses to quickly and inexpensively source custom logo design, web design, business cards or any other graphic design work by launching design projects to a global community of over 100,000 designers. 99designs has hosted over 75,000 design contests to date, sees a new design uploaded every 6 seconds, and pays out approximately $1 million to its design community each month. To learn more about 99designs, including where the company is hiring, visit 99designs.com.

Media contact (Worldwide):
Rebecca Fuller
415-298-0416
rebecca@mightypr.com

Media contact (Australia):
Miranda Burford
+61 3 9090 8299

99designs Supports StartUP Britain After Being Dropped

BUSINESS WIRE -- 99designs is giving away a free design contest every week in April to a UK small business and upgrading all UK design contests for free for the entire month. The campaign was launched to support StartUP Britain, an initiative to encourage small business growth across the United Kingdom. The move comes after StartUP Britain dropped 99designs from its site amid heavy pressure to support local design shops instead.

“99designs has helped thousands of small businesses and freelance designers across the United Kingdom – British designers make up the 5th largest segment of our design community,” said Matt Mickiewicz, Founder of 99designs. “We regret StartUP Britain’s decision to take down our link but appreciate that this seasoned group of successful entrepreneurs recognizes the tremendous value 99designs provides to small businesses and startups.”

Every design contest launched on 99designs in April by a business in the UK will automatically receive a free Power Pack upgrade ({{ 85|money }} value) and be entered into a weekly drawing to have the total cost of their contest returned to them.

To take advantage of the campaign, a UK business must simply:

  1. Click on the following link: http://99designs.com/go/startupbritain
  2. Go to the 99designs website and launch a design contest between now and April 30th.
  3. Check your emails and our website to see if you have won!

For more information please visit: http://99designs.com/designer-blog/2011/03/30/startup-britain-99designs-love/

About 99designs

99designs is the #1 marketplace for small business graphic design. Its Ready-made logo store has over ten thousand high quality logos available for customization and sale right off the shelf for $99, while its Design Contest Marketplace enables businesses to quickly and inexpensively source custom logo design, web design, business cards or any other graphic design work by launching design projects to a global community of over 90,000 designers. 99designs has hosted over 70,000 design contests to date for brands such as TiVo and DISH Network. It sees a new design uploaded every 7 seconds and pays out over $900,000 to its design community each month.

For more information please visit: 99designs.com.

Contact:
Jason Aiken
99designs
jason@99designs.com

99designs.com launches ready-made logo store

Thousands of High Quality Logos Can Be Purchased and Customized from {{ 99|money }}

BUSINESS WIRE -— 99designs.com, the #1 marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design for small business, today announced a new ‘Ready-made’ logo store where thousands of professional logos can be browsed, purchased and customized starting at just {{ 99|money }}. The ‘Ready-made’ logo store from 99designs.com provides small businesses immediate access to a catalogue of original and professional logos while also creating additional opportunities for designers to generate revenue. The Ready-made storefront is now accessible and accepting logo uploads with the first logos available for sale in March.

The logo store compliments the existing design contest marketplace at 99designs.com to create two options for sourcing professional logos at an affordable price. Small businesses looking for the fastest solution can pick a logo “off the shelf” at the Ready-made store and quickly have it customized to fit their needs. Meanwhile, clients who desire the highest level of customization can choose to have their logo created from scratch by crowdsourcing it to the community of designers at 99designs.com.

"While our popular design contest marketplace is ideal if you're looking for a fully customized logo, many small business owners simply want a fast, cost effective, ‘off the shelf’ option,” said Mark Harbottle, Co-founder of 99designs.com. “With thousands of professional logo designs ripe for the picking, our new logo store serves this purpose nicely. At the same time, our 60,000 active designers who upload a fresh design every 10 seconds to 99designs.com will welcome another potential source of income, and another channel to expose their talent to thousands of new customers."

99designs.com is currently working with its designers to prepare and categorize the Ready-made logos for sale. Designers interested in uploading logos for sale can do so by visiting http://99designs.com/readymade/submit/logo. The first logos will be available for purchase in March at http://99designs.com/readymade/logos.

About 99designs

99designs is the largest marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design, connecting passionate designers from around the globe with savvy clients who need design projects completed in a timely fashion without the usual risk or cost associated with professional design services. It has held over 28,000 design contests to date with over 2,600,000 unique designs submitted. For more information please visit: 99designs.com.

Contact:
Jason Aiken
99designs
jason@99designs.com

UNITED STATES MAILING ADDRESS

447 Battery Street
3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

AUSTRALIAN MAILING ADDRESS

41 Stewart Street
2nd Floor
Richmond
VIC 3121

GERMAN MAILING ADDRESS

Heinrich-Roller-Strasse 28
10405 Berlin

BRAZILIAN MAILING ADDRESS

Rua Alfredo Chaves, 48
Sala 03 - Botafogo
Rio de Janeiro - RJ
CEP: 22260 - 160