From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

99Designs Logo.svg
Type of site
Freelance marketplace
HeadquartersMelbourne, Australia
Area servedWorldwide
Owner99designs Pty Ltd
Founder(s)Matt Mickiewicz, Mark Harbottle
Key peoplePatrick Llewellyn, (CEO)
Current statusActive

99designs is a Melbourne, Australia, based company that operates a freelancer platform for connecting graphic designers and clients.[1][2][3] The company was founded in 2008, and has a United States office in Oakland, California.[4]


99designs was founded by Matt Mickiewicz and Mark Harbottle as a spin-off of Sitepoint, a website started in 1998 as a forum for web developers and designers. Designers on its forums began organizing contests based on fictional client briefs.[5][6][7] The founders decided to test charging a fee to post briefs for real projects, eventually creating 99designs as a separate company for the contests.[5][8][9]

In 2008, the company opened a San Francisco office, because the majority of the platform's initial clients and designers were in the United States.[10][11] It later moved its U.S. headquarters to Oakland, California.[4] By 2012, the site had 175,000 designers in 192 countries.[12] By 2016, it had about one million registered designers.[13] The platform was later redesigned to allow customers to directly search for and hire designers, outside of design competitions.[14][15][16]

In 2012, the company acquired a European competitor called 12designer, based in Germany.[12][17] Its office became the European headquarters of 99designs.[18] In 2013, the company acquired LogoChef, a Brazilian competitor.[19] In 2017, the company relocated back to Melbourne.[20][21]

The company was acquired in October 2020 by American Irish company Cimpress.[22]


In 2011, the company received US$35 million in financing from Accel Partners and other investors.[23][24][25] It subsequently raised another $10 million in 2015.[13][20]

The company became profitable in 2017,[14] and in February 2018 reported $60 million a year in revenue.[20]


  1. ^ Kennedy, H. (18 November 2011). Net Work: Ethics and Values in Web Design. Springer. ISBN 9780230356108.
  2. ^ Cooper, J. Melissa (19 May 2015). Freelance Nation: Work When You Want, Where You Want. How to Start a Freelance Business. Advantage Media Group. ISBN 9781599325316.
  3. ^ Suhr, Hiesun Cecilia (21 August 2014). Online Evaluation of Creativity and the Arts. Routledge. ISBN 9781317748724.
  4. ^ a b Li, Ronald (25 March 2015). "Digital design startup moves headquarters from S.F. to hot Oakland neighborhood". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b Craig, Elsie (21 May 2012). "Xconomy: 99designs Crowdsources Its Own New Website Design". Xconomy. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  6. ^ Dubois, Lou (27 June 2011). "Matt Mickiewicz, Co-founder of 99designs". Inc.com. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  7. ^ Isaac, Mike. "Why Designers Hate Crowdsourcing". Forbes. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  8. ^ Lacy, Sarah (24 January 2012). "Get Over It, Haters: 99designs Has Tipped". Pando. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  9. ^ Ho, Victoria. "Design Competition Model Is Working For 99designs, Especially In Asia". TechCrunch. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  10. ^ Anderson, Cathy (27 May 2016). "How These Aussie Small Businesses Have Cracked the US Market". Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  11. ^ King, Rachel (27 October 2008). "The Designer-Small Biz Connection". Fast Company. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  12. ^ a b Empson, Rip (7 August 2012). "99designs Makes Its First Acquisition, Scoops Up European Rival 12designer". TechCrunch. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  13. ^ a b Redrup, Yolanda (9 March 2016). "Design marketplace 99designs releases growth figures as it weighs up possible IPO". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Graphic design marketplace 99designs hits profitability 9 years after launch". VentureBeat. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  15. ^ Knight, Anneli (20 October 2011). "Winner takes all: the global design race". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  16. ^ Ward, Miranda (28 November 2013). "99designs refutes claim crowd-sourcing is contributing to tough conditions for freelancers - Mumbrella". Mumbrella. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  17. ^ Sharma, Mahesh (31 August 2012). "99 problems but a design ain't one | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  18. ^ McDermott, John (7 August 2012). "Start-up 99designs Buys European Rival". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  19. ^ "Crowdsourcing giant 99designs acquires LogoChef, continues global expansion". VentureBeat. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  20. ^ a b c "As 99designs turns 10, CEO Patrick Llewellyn plans for an Australian IPO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  21. ^ Wallbank, Paul (24 October 2017). "99Designs pivots to agencies as it returns to its Melbourne roots ahead of ASX listing". Mumbrella. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Printing giant Vistaprint acquires 99designs". techcrunch.com. 5 October 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  23. ^ Primick, Dan (29 April 2011). "Why 99designs raised $35 million from Accel Partners". Fortune. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  24. ^ Khoo, Valerie (16 May 2013). "Going global: how one Melbourne start-up did it". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  25. ^ Lacy, Sarah. "Accel Invests $35M. in 99designs…After Years of Trying". TechCrunch. Retrieved 27 July 2018.