10.05.20 - Freelancing marketplaces, much like crowdfunding, have been long overlooked by venture capital - until Fiverr reached unicorn status surpassing a $1 billion valuation. Fiverr is now a publicly listed company with over a $5 billion market capitalization with annual revenues in excess of $100 million.
In another show of further market validation, printing giant Vistaprint has acquired the freelancing design marketplace 99designs. Vistaprint competes against companies like Moo, which has put a focus on providing design services for customers - Something Vistaprint has been expanding into to remain competitive.
The companies say that 99designs will become part of Vistaprint while also operating as a separate brand, with 99designs CEO Patrick Llewelyn continuing to lead his team and reporting to Cimpress/Vistaprint CEO Robert Keane.
The deal emphasizes the opportunity of connecting 99designs’ freelance designers with the over 20 million small businesses who use Vistaprint to print signs, banners, business cards, and other marketing materials — so they can their design and printing needs handled in one place.
Apparently, Vistaprint has already been expanding into design services, with offerings that include a design service that businesses have used to create custom face masks during the pandemic.
“The driving force behind Vistaprint’s future with 99designs is our passion to help small businesses,” “We know how critical great design is for entrepreneurs on their journey. 99designs and Vistaprint have shared values and vision to be a trusted partner to business owners and creators, which lay the foundation for something bigger and more valuable than either of our teams could create alone.” Said in a statement by Robert Keane.
The details of the deal have remained private, prior to the deal 99Designs raised $45 million in venture funding. Its last estimated private valuations were in excess of $1 billion.