Australian crowdsourcing startup DesignCrowd hits 100,000 designers; business doubles in size

designcrowd.jpgAustralian online graphic design marketplace, DesignCrowd, now has over 100,000 designers and the business has doubled in size in the last year.

The startup revealed some interesting figures that show crowdsourcing continues to disrupt and is showing no signs of slowing down.
  • Top countries that crowdsource are the USA, Australia, and the UK, with strong growth in 2013 in the US and Brazil, Singapore and Germany.
  • The top 3 design types requested by volume are logo design, web design, and graphic design. The fastest growth is in app design (driven by the iOS and Android boom), Facebook page design (now with 1 billion users, the best way for brands to connect with consumers), and book cover design (driven by the rise in eBook publishing).
  • Designer demand for crowdsourcing has doubled in the last 12 months - with registered designers now at 100,000 on DesignCrowd.
  • Small business demand for crowdsourcing has doubled since late 2012 and is booming in early 2013 - DesignCrowd has seen more than 50% growth in posted projects already in 2013.
  • The top designer countries by volume are the USA, India, UK, and Australia with Indonesia, the Philippines, and Pakistan the top emerging countries.

DesignCrowd has pioneered a new model of crowdsourcing, building a fairer, transparent model for project creators and designers. It has paid over $1M in participation payments to designers who did not win contests, and launched BrandCrowd, a premium logo marketplace where designers can monetize unused designs.

DesignCrowd's marketplace enables small businesses to crowdsource graphic design projects from a global designer community of over 100,000, or exclusively from local designers. The online service is disrupting the traditional design industry (valued at between $50B - $200B globally) by offering clients immediate access to 100,000 freelance designers, more than the number of designers in London (40,000) and New York (16,000) combined.

Says Alec Lynch, DesignCrowd's CEO and founder: "It's now possible for a small business to access 100,000 designers online. This is one of the reasons crowdsourcing is disrupting the traditional design industry. We now have twice as many designers on DesignCrowd than the whole of the United Kingdom.

"This is one of the reasons we're seeing tremendous growth in demand for our services from both small business and bigger brands.  We've seen a boom in demand from small business in 2013.

"There has never been a better time for startups, small businesses, and established brands to crowdsource their design needs and ideas."

In addition to a boom in small business demand, a number of big brands have now crowdsourced on DesignCrowd - including Virgin, Showtime, Amnesty, Harvard used DesignCrowd - in the past year. Recently, Kevin Rudd's 2013 election t-shirt design was created by a designer from the site.

The huge 100,000 designer milestone follows a string of successes for DesignCrowd:
  • In October 2012, DesignCrowd brought its marketplace to Asia to target the large number of small businesses and designers in the region, launching local services in India, Singapore and the Philippines.
  • By January 2013, DesignCrowd had opened eight crowdsourcing marketplaces including the USA, Australia, UK, Canada, New Zealand.
  • In December 2011, DesignCrowd acquired and integrated it into the marketplace as
  • In 2011 DesignCrowd received $3M investment from Starfish Ventures.


derrick said:


Pay peanuts - get monkeys

Crowd sourcing sux said:

Crowd sourcing has to be one of the worst innovations to happen to our industry. In a world where austerity measures are the new black, this concept surely is the proverbial nail for sole traders and the like who are trying to make a living from their art. I truly feel sorry for these people. Being paid $5 to design a logo won't cover the bills for long.

Crowd sourcing is reminscent of the cane toad in Australia. A good idea on paper but very destructive when released into the real world.

Jim said:

Once again, artists get screwed by their own kind.

jack said:

This is obviously not an innovative startup, but the business is obviously very well executed thanks to a very generous amount of capital available. It's a marketing success, not so much a technical success.

Disruptive businesses like this do not *always* make change for the better. I'm still undecided about these crowdsourcing type "startups". I think the graphic design industry can benefit in some ways, but it does make it harder for some designers to survive.

I'm actually a software developer deploying customized products for my customers, so these disruptive businesses has not affected me that much as my clients require a great deal of face to face time since customized software needs are too complex to do over the web entirely. However I feel deeply for those people who have been adversely affected by these "innovations".

On the bright side, the fairer system that DesignCrowd brings to the table in comparison to the countless other crowdsourcing websites is something to be praised.

Personally I'd like to see more online startups more directly help designers, than create competition that over the time course devalues the work of designers and adversely affects local markets in their greed to take the global one.

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