Spread Group

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sprd.net AG
TypeJoint-stock company
IndustryCustomized apparel and accessories
FoundedMay 2002; 19 years ago (2002-05) (then Spreadshirt GbR)
Leipzig, Germany
FoundersLukasz Gadowski
Matthias Spieß
HeadquartersGießerstr. 27, Leipzig, Germany
Key people
Dr. Julian de Grahl, CEO
[1], Tobias Schaugg (CFO), Lukasz Gadowski (Supervisory Board Chairman)
ProductsApparel and accessories
ServicesScreen printing, digital printing, flock printing, flex printing, digital transfer, vinyl printing, thermal sublimation
RevenueUS$146MM (global revenue) [2]
Number of employees
c. 1000 employees worldwide [3] (January 29, 2021)

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 (US), as well as production sites in Legnica, Poland, Krupka, Czech Republic and Henderson, Nevada, US. 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).

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.

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.


Spread Group was founded in 2001 by Lukasz Gadowski and Matthias Spieß. At the time, they named the company "Spreadshirt". Spieß already had experience in founding companies.[4] 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).

Spread Group's headquarters are located in Plagwitz, Leipzig. There are further offices and locations in other European cities: Berlin (Germany), Legnica (Poland), Krupka (Czech Republic). In 2015, the fifth production site was established in Krupka, adding manufacturing capacities to Leipzig, Legnica and the two American branches in Greensburg (PA) and Henderson (NV).

London-based venture-capital firm Accel Partners invested in Spreadshirt in 2006.[5] Some of the money was used to buy French company laFraise, which hosted Europe's largest ongoing T-shirt design contest online.[6] laFraise closed its company gates in July 2014,[7] but its Irish subsidiary La Fraise Ltd. is still active.[8]

On August 1, 2007, Gadowski relinquished his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Spread Group. 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 Spread Group until November 2010.[9] In May 2011, former Chief Marketing Officer Philip Rooke was appointed CEO. The current members of the Management Board are Philip Rooke (CEO) and Tobias Schaugg (CFO). Co-founder and previous (CTO) Matthias Spieß has moved to the Supervisory Board (since July 2014).

In July 2014, Spread Group 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.[10]

On January 7, 2016, Spread Group decided to close the production site in Leipzig.[11] 26 employees of the Spreadshirt Manufacturing Deutschland GmbH were . Only 10% of the European order volume was produced in Leipzig. There are further sites in Legnica (Poland) and Krupka (Czech Republic). After short negotiations, the production employees’ leave of absence was lifted and Spread Group is now producing in Leipzig again.[12]


  • Online-Star 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year: Lukasz Gadowski[13]
  • Europe's 500 2006 [14]
  • Red Herring 100 Europe Award 2006[15]


  • 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.[16]
  • Sales in 2019 amounted to $146MM. In total, Spread Group shipped over 6.4 million products printed on demand to some 170 countries.[17]


  1. ^ https://www.spreadshirt.com/newsroom/record-year-and-ceo-change-spread-group-continues-to-grow-2021-03-31/
  2. ^ "Spread Group Facts & Figures".
  3. ^ "Spread Group Facts & Figure".
  4. ^ Sprenger, Maria. "Ein Shirt für alle Fälle". Süddeutsche.de.
  5. ^ "Exciting Commerce: Spreadshirt: Mit Venture Capital zum Weltmarktführer". web.archive.org. June 30, 2009.
  6. ^ "gründerszene » Spreadshirt übernimmt La Fraise". web.archive.org. September 28, 2007.
  7. ^ "laFraise will be closed | laFraise Blog EN". web.archive.org. August 8, 2014.
  8. ^ "Company Search". search.cro.ie.
  9. ^ "Exciting Commerce: Spreadshirt: Lukasz Gadowski übergibt an Jana Eggers". web.archive.org. June 25, 2011.
  10. ^ "Spreadshirt baut Großkundengeschäft aus". web.archive.org. August 8, 2014.
  11. ^ "Schlechte Nachrichten aus Plagwitz: Spreadshirt schließt Leipziger Produktionsstätte". Nachrichten aus Leipzig - Leipziger Zeitung. January 7, 2016.
  12. ^ "Leipzig: Spreadshirt-Mitarbeiter dürfen wieder arbeiten | MDR.DE". web.archive.org. June 17, 2016.
  13. ^ Online-Star 2006: Pressemitteilung Archived 2007-07-22 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ https://just4business.de/eu/2006/10/24/europes-500-awards-to-109-german-companies/
  15. ^ Red Herring 100 Awards Archived October 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Immer mehr Design-Uploads – und wie wir damit umgehen". December 17, 2020.
  17. ^ "Spreadshirt Demonstrates Strong Growth In 2019". May 12, 2020.

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