|Founded||Bangalore, Karnataka, India (October 15, 2009 )|
|No. of locations||Bangalore, Doha, Singapore, California, London|
|Founder(s)||Sitashwa Srivastava and Manik Kinra|
|Products||Creative marketing solutions such as animations, logos, websites, brochures, print ads, etc|
|Services||Crowdsourcing creative work|
|Slogan(s)||Managed crowdsourcing for marketing campaigns|
|Type of site||Business to Business (B2B) Crowdsourcing platform|
Jade Magnet is an online Crowdsourcing platform for creative and marketing support services. It was founded in 2009 by Sitashwa Srivastava and Manik Kinra. The company is headquartered in Bangalore, India and has white label partnerships in Qatar as Mixilion and in Singapore as id8on.
Jade Magnet crowdsources design requirements for marketing campaigns (logos, websites, brochures, print ads, animation videos) to freelancers, professionals, small agencies and technology from teams across the world. Initially established as an open crowdsourcing platform, Jade Magnet moved to a “managed Crowdsourcing” model in 2013 wherein the company curates teams of designers from the crowd to provide solutions to its clients’. It offers delivery assurance to its clients and handles the full project management, payments and legal contracts of crowdsourced output.
Crowdsourcing gives businesses the option of choosing from multiple design possibilities, while at the same time, creates money-making opportunities for those with a creative bent-of-mind and a technology background. Businesses sourcing marketing and design requirements from Jade Magnet get to select from multiple designs submitted by different designers or “providers” to whom the task gets posted as a contest. In this way, the platform enables customers to extract multiple options for creative solutions before making a final selection. Crowdsourcing designers also makes available a larger pool of the best available talent from among freelancers, who would otherwise not be available within a single organisation or agency.
Designers can apply to become providers on the Jade Magnet network, and are then invited participate in live internal contests the ones that are of interest to them. Jade Magnet also sources designers and artists by visiting art schools and design colleges where there is a ready community willing to participate in any invitation for crowdsourcing ideas. Providers who perform well on projects and receive good customer feedback can become Jade Magnet Champions, which ensures them a steady stream of projects. Jade Magnet has developed a community engagement system for all providers (students, moonlighters, small agencies and freelancers), offering introductory skill appraisals, appraisal and accreditation based on client feedback and opportunities for creative skill enhancement. Some Jade Magnet providers are based in tier-2 cities of India and make a living with work coming from the platform.
Jade Magnet was co-founded by Sitashwa Srivastava and Manik Kinra, who were classmates at the Great Lakes Institute of Management. The company was born out of their idea to develop a crowdsourcing platform, based on the notion that solutions coming from a physically disconnected world could still serve business needs if channelized properly.
The idea behind establishing the company was to tap the market space comprising millions of small and medium businesses around the world which need creative support in their marketing campaigns but are unable to work with large creative agencies due to budget constraints. Crowdsourcing could cater to the needs of all such businesses on a single platform, bridging the gap between small businesses that could not afford big agency fee, and freelancers who are always looking for creative freedom and opportunity. Also, there was an opportunity to work for large and mature businesses in search of new creative ideas for their marketing campaigns and willing to experiment with more people than traditional agencies can provide.
Contest Based Platform
Under a pilot program for testing the business model by the name of creADivity, the founders brought on-board 45 providers and got their first five customers. In July 2008, creADivity got selected for The Indus Entrepreneurs’ (TiE) Entrepreneurial Acceleration Program (EAP), which selects one or two startup companies every year and assists in funding, mentoring and networking to support them. The program provides role models in successful entrepreneurs, and helps with the support required by early-stage entrepreneurs.
Joining the TiE Program also helped Manik and Sitashwa raise initial seed funding, with the help of which they launched the platform, rebranded by the name of Jade Magnet, on 15 October 2009. The name was changed from CreADivity since it was observed that people found it difficult to pronounce the name and place the brand. The company’s new name was derived from Jade - a precious stone with sacred connotations in many cultures, and Magnet that signifies an ability to pull towards itself anything that comes close to it. The design of the company's logo itself was the result of a crowdsourcing exercise, where multiple designers created more than 15 design options. The logo that was finally chosen symbolizes high-value by juxtaposing “a” and “g” together (“Ag” is the scientific name of silver), with the "g" falling slightly to represent the magnetic force of gravity.
Under the contest –based platform, customers looking crowdsourced design requirements could register on the website and post a project. Jade Magnet set a minimum payout limit for categories of creative projects, below which market dynamics have shown that there are no takers for given tasks. Customers post projects for a budget above the pre-set minimum, 80% of which is paid out to the winning entry. Once the project was posted as a contest, it received a number of entries from providers registered on the platform. Customers then shortlisted up to five entries from these and made a final choice after any modifications.
Providers looking to participate in design contests on the Jade Magnet platform registered on the website. Registered designers could participate in the projects of their interest and submit their work in response to the posted requirements. The client selected the design which was found most appropriate.
In its first three years of establishment, Jade Magnet got on board around 8000 freelancers and small agencies in its network, delivered more than 2000 design and technology projects to nearly 1000 customers, and awarded about $650,000 as prize money to designers.
After trying out the open crowdsourcing model and a closed group delivery assurance for a few years, Jade Magnet moved to a Managed Crowdsourcing model in 2013, where they create teams of experts by bringing together the best providers. This helps get the best designs out as the first step from multiple designers and then work with the team to deliver the output to the client. Crowdsourcing thus helps businesses get access to a larger pool of the best available talent from among freelancers, who would otherwise not be available within a single organisation or agency.
In September 2012, Jade Magnet entered the Middle East with a joint venture as Mixilion, which is headquartered in Doha (Qatar). Mixilion is the Middle East's first crowdsourcing platform and provides solutions to SMEs in the region using Jade Magnet’s technology back end and a localized delivery assurance model.
In October 2012, Jade Magnet entered into a joint venture with a technology firm in Singapore as id8on, with the help of which it expanded its operations in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
- Logo/brand designs
- Advertisements (banner ads for online campaigns, print ads for print campaigns and billboard ads for out-of-home campaigns)
- Web design (basic websites, dynamic websites, microsites, prototypical platforms)
- Brochure designs
- Animation videos
- Application UI
- Digital marketing
- Online Marketing (including search engine optimization and social media marketing)
- Template designs of other marketing collateral like newsletters, stationery, emailers, power point presentations and document templates
The key to scaling the crowdsourcing business lies in automation of as many crowd-management processes as possible and Jade Magnet has created, executed, analyzed and fine-tuned many such processes. Jade Magnet is built on the Symfony framework with a MySQL back-end. The platform is a cloud-hosted application at Amazon Web Services. Jade Magnet is building a new sales support and portfolio application that organizes collateral designs by category and cost to enable Jade Magnet sales team and account managers close deals faster. It doubles up as a design showcase for provider portfolios at Jade Magnet.
Benefits from crowdsourcing
Scholars of crowdsourcing suggest that there are intrinsic and extrinsic motivations that inspire people to contribute to crowdsourced tasks, and numerous incentives for businesses to get their requirements crowdsourced.
Jade Magnet’s model has proved that there are several benefits for both the customers and the providers using the crowdsourcing platform. They have estimated that their SME clients have collectively been able to save around $350,000 in about two and half years by crowdsourcing their creative marketing requirements instead of getting the work done through traditional agencies. Crowdsourcing has become the popular choice over small and medium advertising agencies, since it makes available a larger variety of options at a comparatively low cost of design. In crowdsourcing, overheads are minimal due to which costs for smaller and simpler projects come down drastically.For SMEs, lower costs, without a corresponding drop in quality, is a major incentive to crowd-source.
Jade Magnet claims to have helped businesses to reach out to creative people across India (including tier-2 and tier-3 cities) and four more countries. It has enabled companies to generate creative solutions within a span as short as three days, and helped small and medium businesses reach their target customers instead of making huge investments in creating a market for themselves 
Crowdsourcing has also opened up opportunities to thousands of creative designers from remote corners of India, who can enjoy the advantages of creative freedom combined with the flexibility to work at their own pace. Some providers have started earning regular income from crowdsourcing, even earning more than their previous jobs.
- Wanobe in October 2011 to provide services to Small and Medium Businesses in UK 
- Indiamart in December 2011, to enhance the marketing strategies of SMEs and cater to their needs of design solutions cost effectively 
- Zipdial in December 2011 to provide collaborative solutions to SMEs in India 
- Appsfunder in January 2012 for cross-marketing each other's services into their communities 
- Kuliza Technologies in April 2012 to get Indian SMEs Online on Amazon 
- Design Partner at the NASSCOM Product Conclave, 2012 
Awards and recognition
- Selected by TiE for its Entrepreneurial Acceleration Program (EAP) and raised seed capital with TiE support (2009)
- Selected among India’s Hottest Startups by Business Today magazine (2010) 
- Most promising technology startup at Global Technology Summit, Palo Alto(2011)
- Featured in TiE Global Annual Report among promising startups (2011)
- Selected by NASSCOM as part of the EMERGE 50 group of companies in India (2011)
- Nominated for South Asia’s Manthan Awards as an innovative digital business (2011)
- Case study on Jade Magnet was among the winning cases chosen for publishing in 2012 at the ISB-Ivey Global Case Competition 2012, organised by the Indian School of Business 
- Crowdsourcing creative work
- The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
- List of crowdsourcing projects
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- "Jade Magnet in West Asia joint venture; raises $300k angel funding".
- "Mixilion launched, helps Jade Magnet to get into Middle East Market".
- "Jade Magnet launches Mixilion – Middle East’s first creative crowdsourcing platform".
- "Mixilion becomes Jade Magnet's vehicle for Middle East".
- "Mixilion partners with Qatar Today for "Brand Qatar" Tag Line Contest".
- "Design platform Jade Magnet in Singapore JV for S Asia foray, eyes $1M revenues".
- "Crowdsourcing Design Firm Jade Magnet Partners With Singapore's VC Fund".
- "Jade Magnet inks S’pore joint venture; raises funds for SE Asia foray".
- "Post a Project on Jade Magnet".
- "Crowdsource your marketing needs".
- "BUSINESS IMPACT: ANNUAL REPORT 2012 FOR JADE MAGNET".
- "Amazon web services - Jade Magnet Online Pvt. Ltd.".
- Viswanathan, Srinivasan (04/09/2012). "Crowdsourcing Cuts Costs For SMEs, Says Jade Magnet's Srivastava". PCQuest.
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- "IndiaMART.com and Jade Magnet Join Hands to Offer Design Solutions to Indian MSMEs". The Telegraph. 09/12/2011.
- "Jade Magnet partners with ZipDial to make marketing more effective for SMEs".
- "JADE MAGNET TEAMS UP WITH APPSFUNDER".
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- "Streamlining Crowd’s Vitality".
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- "Announcing the Finalists for NASSCOM EMERGE 50 Awards for 2011".
- "Manthan Award 2011 – Jade Magnet".
- "List of Cases selected for Publishing".