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.”
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.
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