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99Designs Logo.svg
Type of site
Freelance marketplace,
HeadquartersMelbourne, Australia
Area servedWorldwide
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]


In 2011, the company received US$35 million in financing from Accel Partners and other investors.[22][23][24] 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. (2011-11-18). Net Work: Ethics and Values in Web Design. Springer. ISBN 9780230356108.
  2. ^ Cooper, J. Melissa (2015-05-19). Freelance Nation: Work When You Want, Where You Want. How to Start a Freelance Business. Advantage Media Group. ISBN 9781599325316.
  3. ^ Suhr, Hiesun Cecilia (2014-08-21). 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 (2012-05-21). "Xconomy: 99designs Crowdsources Its Own New Website Design". Xconomy. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  6. ^ Dubois, Lou (2011-06-27). "Matt Mickiewicz, Co-founder of 99designs". Inc.com. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  7. ^ Isaac, Mike. "Why Designers Hate Crowdsourcing". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  8. ^ Lacy, Sarah (2012-01-24). "Get Over It, Haters: 99designs Has Tipped". Pando. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  9. ^ Ho, Victoria. "Design Competition Model Is Working For 99designs, Especially In Asia". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  10. ^ Anderson, Cathy (2016-05-27). "How These Aussie Small Businesses Have Cracked the US Market". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  11. ^ King, Rachel (2008-10-27). "The Designer-Small Biz Connection". Fast Company. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  12. ^ a b Empson, Rip (2012-08-07). "99designs Makes Its First Acquisition, Scoops Up European Rival 12designer". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  13. ^ a b Redrup, Yolanda (2016-03-09). "Design marketplace 99designs releases growth figures as it weighs up possible IPO". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  14. ^ a b "Graphic design marketplace 99designs hits profitability 9 years after launch". VentureBeat. 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  15. ^ Knight, Anneli (2011-10-20). "Winner takes all: the global design race". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  16. ^ Ward, Miranda (2013-11-28). "99designs refutes claim crowd-sourcing is contributing to tough conditions for freelancers - Mumbrella". Mumbrella. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  17. ^ Sharma, Mahesh (2012-08-31). "99 problems but a design ain't one | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  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. 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  20. ^ a b c "As 99designs turns 10, CEO Patrick Llewellyn plans for an Australian IPO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  21. ^ Wallbank, Paul (2017-10-24). "99Designs pivots to agencies as it returns to its Melbourne roots ahead of ASX listing". Mumbrella. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  22. ^ Primick, Dan (2011-04-29). "Why 99designs raised $35 million from Accel Partners". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  23. ^ Khoo, Valerie (2013-05-16). "Going global: how one Melbourne start-up did it". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  24. ^ Lacy, Sarah. "Accel Invests $35M. in 99designs…After Years of Trying". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-07-27.