Over the last two years Alec Lynch and his DesignCrowd co-founder Adam Abolino have launched their company into new markets (including Asia), raised capital, acquired Worth1000, and recently announced that they hit $20 million in payments being paid out to designers using the platform. That is twice the amount the company paid out for the same period in 2013.
The business is going strong, it’s growing and performing well with teams in both Australia and San Francisco. It looks like this growth is going to accelerate even further and faster in 2015, with an announcement that the company has closed a further $6 million in Series B funding today.
What is really cool about this particular bout of funding is that it has been led by a relatively new Australian fund, AirTree Ventures, which was founded by Daniel Petre and Craig Blair. It should also be noted that existing (and original) investor Starfish Ventures, who previously put in $6 million to the startup, has also participated in this round. To date, the total capital raised by DesignCrowd sits a little above $12 million.
“AirTree Ventures is excited to be able to lead this round,” said Blair in a statement. “Crowdsourcing is still only a fraction of the $44 billion design industry and the DesignCrowd team has [managed] to take market share from incumbents by obsessively focussing on product to deliver the best design outcomes for customers. We are looking forward to being part of the DesignCrowd growth story and welcoming the team to the AirTree Ventures family.”
Lynch says that the funds will be used to expand internationally and innovate by improving the crowdsourcing platform. “Our goal is to pioneer design crowdsourcing, to perfect the design crowdsourcing process, and to take crowdsourcing to every corner of the world. We aim to have the number one design crowdsourcing service in the world – and this capital will help us do that.”
The capital will be used to invest in three things: sales and marketing, product and innovation, and customer service. Lynch says that the company plans on scaling the sales and marketing activities globally, specifically outside of Australia, with a huge focus on the United States.
This strategy makes perfect sense given that 75% of the company’s revenues actually come from outside of Australia.
As part of the funding round, Craig Blair from AirTree Ventures will join Starfish Ventures’ Anthony Glenning and Garry Visontay, as well as Alec Lynch, on the DesignCrowd board.
The company hopes to hit $40 million in designer projects this year.