Spread Group

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sprd.net AG
TypeJoint-stock company
IndustryCustomized apparel and accessories
FoundedMay 2002; 20 years ago (2002-05) (then Spreadshirt GbR)
Leipzig, Germany
  • Lukasz Gadowski
  • Matthias Spieß
HeadquartersGießerstr. 27,
Key people
  • Dr. Julian de Grahl (CEO)
  • Tobias Schaugg (CFO)
  • Jürgen Krisch (CTO)
  • Hugo Smoter (CCO)
  • Hanne Dinkel (CCDO)
  • Lukasz Gadowski (Supervisory Board Chairman)
ProductsApparel and accessories
ServicesScreen printing, digital printing, flock printing, flex printing, digital transfer, vinyl printing, thermal sublimation
RevenueIncrease US$195 million (2020)
Number of employees
c. 1000 (2020)

Spread Group (legally sprd.net AG) is the umbrella brand of five internationally active e-commerce platforms with headquarters in Leipzig, Germany and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, United States. It operates production sites in Legnica, Poland, Krupka, Czech Republic and Henderson, Nevada, United States. Founded in 2002 as a student start-up, the name "Spreadshirt" has become part of today's group of companies: Spreadshirt Create Your Own, Spreadshirt Marketplaces, Spreadshop, TeamShirts and SPOD (Spreadshirt Print-on-Demand).[1]

All business transactions are conducted through the Internet: The Shop Owner uploads graphics, logos, etc. online, and uses these to customize products. Spread Group then handles all the necessary actions — from warehousing to production, shipping, payment processing and customer service — to distribute those custom merchandising products online.


Spreadshirt era (2001-2020)[edit]

Spreadshirt was founded on 20 June 2002 by Lukasz Gadowski and Matthias Spieß.[2][1][3] Spieß already had experience in founding companies.[3] The other managing director, Michael Petersen, joined the company as a partner in the summer of 2004. In 2006, the company form was changed from a GmbH (limited liability company) to an AG (joint-stock company). Spreadshirt had a revenue of ca. €8.7 million in 2005 and 190 employees as of January 2006.[2]

London-based venture-capital firm Accel Partners invested in Spreadshirt in 2006.[4] Some of the money was used to buy French company la Fraise, which hosted Europe's largest ongoing T-shirt design contest online.[5]

On 1 August 2007, Gadowski relinquished his position as chairman of the board of directors at Spreadshirt. He has continued to serve as chairman of the supervisory board since 2008. Gadowski's successor was Jana Eggers, a U.S. citizen who served as CEO of Spreadshirt[6] until November 2010.[citation needed] In May 2011, former Chief Marketing Officer Philip Rooke was appointed CEO.[citation needed] Co-founder and former CTO Matthias Spieß has moved to the supervisory board (since July 2014).[citation needed]

In July 2014, Spreadshirt added the corporate brand Yink to Spreadshirt.de. Yink had emerged from Deutsche Druckservice (later Spreadshirt Bulk). The volume-order service has been part of the portfolio since 2004, and still remains a division of Spreadshirt today.[7]

La Fraise closed its company gates in July 2014,[8] but its Irish subsidiary La Fraise Ltd. still exists as of May 2022.[9]

In 2015, the fifth production site was established in Krupka.[citation needed]

On 7 January 2016, Spreadshirt announced the closure of the Spreadshirt Manufacturing Deutschland GmbH in Leipzig, laying off 26 employees. This production site handled 10% of the European order volume.[10] As of January 2016, there were two other European production sites in Legnica (Poland) and Krupka (Czech Republic).[10] On 12 April, a Spreadshirt spokesperson said they would "start a new attempt at the Leipzig site", with 17 out of the 26 employees who are looking to return.[11]

Spread Group (2020-current)[edit]

In November 2020, Spreadshirt was renamed to Spread Group.[12]

In December 2020, Spread Group announced that Dr. Julian de Grahl would take over as CEO starting April 2021.[13][14]

In 2020, Spread Group had a revenue of US$195 million and about 1000 employees.[1]

In July 2021, Spreadshirt suffered a data breach in which customer data, such as addresses and banking information, was accessed.[15]


With its "Spreadshirt" brand, the social-commerce company provides its users with an online platform that can be used to customize and buy T-shirts, but also to offer these custom products for sale on a marketplace. The Spreadshop brand offers users a comprehensive online shop system to run their own T-shirt shop and integrate it into their existing websites. Groups can create matching outfits with the TeamShirts brand, and SPOD (Spreadshirt Print-on-Demand) connects users of external online shop systems, as e.g. Shopify with Spread Group's production sites.[citation needed]


  • Online-Star 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year: Lukasz Gadowski[16]
  • Europe's 500 2006[17]
  • Red Herring 100 Europe Award 2006[18]


  • Spread Group's European marketplace now contains more than 8,000,000 T-shirt designs that can be combined in a plethora of ways on over 200 different products.[19]
  • Sales in 2019 amounted to $146 million. In total, Spread Group shipped over 6.4 million products printed on demand to some 170 countries.[20]


  1. ^ a b c "Spread Group Facts & Figures". Spreadshirt Newsroom. Archived from the original on 14 May 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Spreadshirt GmbH, Leipzig". Sächsische Zeitung (in German). 21 January 2006. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b Holzmüller, Maria (22 February 2011). "Ein Shirt für alle Fälle". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on 14 February 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  4. ^ Krisch, Jochen (30 June 2009). "Spreadshirt: Mit Venture Capital zum Weltmarktführer". Exciting Commerce (in German). Archived from the original on 20 October 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  5. ^ Gadowski, Lukasz (31 July 2006). "Spreadshirt übernimmt La Fraise". gründerszene (in German). Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  6. ^ Krisch, Jochen (19 July 2007). "Spreadshirt: Lukasz Gadowski übergibt an Jana Eggers". Exciting Commerce (in German). Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  7. ^ Reinhold, Kirsten (9 December 2013). "Spreadshirt baut Großkundengeschäft aus". TextilWirtschaft (in German). Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  8. ^ Johannes, Michael (5 June 2014). "laFraise will be closed". laFraise Blog. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  9. ^ "LA FRAISE LIMITED". Core (Companies Registration Office: Company Search). Retrieved 26 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ a b Freitag, Michael (7 January 2016). "Schlechte Nachrichten aus Plagwitz: Spreadshirt schließt Leipziger Produktionsstätte". Leipziger Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on 11 March 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Leipzig: Spreadshirt-Mitarbeiter dürfen wieder arbeiten". MDR Sachsen (in German). 12 April 2016. Archived from the original on 15 April 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Spreadshirt becomes Spread Group". Spread Group. 3 November 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  13. ^ "Julian de Grahl Named New Spread Group CEO". Business Wire. 21 December 2020. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  14. ^ "Record year and CEO change: Spread Group continues to grow". Spread Group (in German). 31 March 2021. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  15. ^ "Spreadshirt wurde gehackt, Kontodaten von Kunden betroffen". Der Spiegel (in German). 12 July 2021. ISSN 2195-1349. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  16. ^ "Online-Star 2006: Pressemitteilung" (PDF) (in German). 26 October 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2022. Den Sonderpreis Internet-Unternehmer des Jahres, verliehen von der Redaktion der Internet World Business, erhielt Lukasz Gadowski, Gründer und CEO von Spreadshirt.
  17. ^ Jannot, Thomas (24 October 2006). "Europe's 500 awards to 109 German companies". just 4 business. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  18. ^ "RH 100 Europe: Internet". Red Herring. 7 May 2006. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  19. ^ Jasmin (17 December 2020). "Immer mehr Design-Uploads – und wie wir damit umgehen". Das deutsche Spreadshirt-Blog (in German). Archived from the original on 14 January 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  20. ^ "Spreadshirt Demonstrates Strong Growth In 2019". Spread Group. 12 May 2020. Archived from the original on 8 February 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2022.

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