99designs reveals financial performance and unveils rebrand as it gears up for further expansion

Australian online design marketplace 99designs has launched a rebrand as it gears up for its next phase of expansion, with figures on its financial performance disclosed today showing the company racked up almost $82 million (US$60 million) in revenue over the last year.

Though it has not yet reached profitability, Patrick Llewellyn, president and CEO of 99Designs, said 2015 was a record breaking year for the company, with 99Designs achieving 50 percent year-over-year growth in its 1-to-1 Projects service, which now accounts for 15 percent of all its revenue.

With global expansion having been key to the company’s financial growth, 99designs stated that its top performing markets are  the US, Australia, UK, Canada and Germany. A USD$10 million Series B round led by Recruit Strategic Partners last year fuelled the company’s expansion into Asia, Japan becomign the fastest growing market to date.

There are now 1.2 million designers registered on the site. At any given time there are over 10,000 active users on the platform, uploading 46,000 designs a day.

“Designer payouts are now averaging USD$3.5 million per month and have reached USD$142 million lifetime, best in class in the online graphic design world,” said Llewellyn.

In celebration of the company’s growth 99designs has rebranded its platform to reflect its evolution from being a destination for startups to find quick and affordable logo designs into the world’s largest on-demand marketplaces for high quality graphic design.

“We want to own design online. We’ve created a better way to get design done for businesses big and small,” said Llewellyn. “This rebrand celebrates what is core to the success of 99designs: the relationships customers have with our curated design community – the quality of work being created on the platform and the connection that designers have with their designs.”

An important part of the rebranding process has been focusing on design quality and customer trust, Llewellyn said. 

“We realised we didn’t have the brand framework to express that so we then went out and re-confirmed across the organisation what our mission and vision is which is at our very core, helping people grow through design.”

To represent the company’s core values in their visual look and feel, 99designs ran a logo design contest involving its own design community. The contest was made available to the site’s platinum tier of designers, which is 4,500 strong. Llewellyn explained that, with these designers having helped to establish the company’s brand guideline, vision, mission, and values, it was important to include them.

 

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The new brand gives 99designs a clean slate, with the aim for 2016 to continue investment into the design community with the ultimate aim of creating an online environment that is as good as working directly with a designer.

“I think the big difference for us is that our fastest growing customer segment is our premium customers on that platinum product. It is the fastest growing category that we have and it’s grown at the fastest rate,” said Llewellyn.

“We’re now building organisation capability around doing a better job of making sure that we’ve got plenty of resources to apply to account managing that group.”

Llewellyn added that the company will be looking to expand into targeting small agencies and marketing departments, saying that the company can do a better job at being engaged on a customer side.

“Our success is driven by our single-minded focus on solving the significant challenges that exist in the global design market. By continually investing in the quality of our design community and the tools that allow them to connect and collaborate with customers online, we’re attracting a larger segment of premium customers to 99designs. This will fuel our growth in 2016 and beyond.”

Image: Patrick Llewellyn. Source: Supplied