|Created by||Aaron Epstein, Chris Williams, Darius A. Monsef IV|
|Industry||Web Design, Photography|
Creative Market is an online marketplace for community-generated design assets. The company sells graphics, WordPress themes, stock photography, and other digital goods for use by web creatives. Creative Market has over one million users and more than 250,000 purchasable items. It was founded in 2012 by Aaron Epstein, Chris Williams, and Darius A. Monsef IV in San Francisco, California.
Creative Market has undergone three investment rounds, raising funds from notable Silicon Valley investors including 500 Startups, Y Combinator, CrunchFund, SV Angel, and Alexis Ohanian. In February, 2014, the company was acquired by American multinational software corporation Autodesk for an undisclosed amount.
Creative Market first began in 2011 as a venture between Aaron Epstein, Chris Williams, and Darius A. Monsef IV. Epstein, Williams, and Monsef were the co-founders of COLOURlovers, a Y Combinator-backed social network service that provides color inspiration for both personal and professional creative projects. The co-founders recognized that COLOURlovers was in need of a marketplace to help its community members exchange the digital goods they were creating, and hence created Creative Market.
In May, 2011, the company raised $1,000,000 from 500 Startups and other investors. In June, 2012, it raised an additional $1,300,000 from a consortium of investors, including 500 Startups, CrunchFund, SV Angel, Longworth Venture Partners, Ludilow Ventures, and Alexis Ohanian. In early 2013, the team hired Zack Onisko to lead its growth efforts, who previously served as BranchOut's Director of Growth.
In April 2014, the team launched a Photoshop extension that allowed designers to preview and purchase Creative Market's digital assets directly within Photoshop itself. This made it easier for designers to find and integrate third-party digital assets within the workflow of their existing graphic design environments.
In February 2014, Creative Market was acquired by Autodesk. The amount of the acquisition was not publicly announced. The entirety of the Creative Market team stayed with the company through the acquisition.
Creative Market's community members buy and sell creative assets for use in design and marketing projects. Assets include vector graphics, website templates, stock photography, document templates, fonts, and miscellaneous creative goods. As of mid-2015, over 250,000 products were available for purchase on Creative Market.
Creative Market's content is submitted by its users through "shops." On behalf of its shop owners, Creative Market handles the distribution, payment processing, support, and assisted marketing for its products. Sellers retain 60% of the sale price on their goods, are not bound to exclusivity agreements with Creative Market, and set their own prices on goods they sell through the platform. The platform also provides sales statistics and a customer-seller messaging system.
As a form of content marketing, the company regularly runs promotions on bundles containing discounted creative goods.
Pay it Forward
In December 2014, Creative Market launched its Pay it Forward bundle in partnership with various companies in the web design space, including Dribbble, Scribd, Skillshare, and others. The bundle offered $4,500 USD worth of digital assets under a pay what you want pricing model. All proceeds went to Watsi, a not-for-profit platform that enables individual donors to directly fund the medical care procedures for individuals in developing countries.
Over 18,000 bundles were purchased, totaling $150,000 USD in funds raised, which amounted to over 250 financed healthcare procedures for patients.
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