Melbourne-based online design market 99designs has returned to its roots, launching a localised version of the company's design marketplace in response to Australian demand.
The company assists businesses with their design needs, such as logo creation and stationery, by running contests with the business' requirements as the brief. Each contest attracts 90 designs on average.
Until now, the site and its support had been geared towards US businesses, but with Australia being the largest market for the company outside of the US, 99designs has decided to start a local site. The local site will allow businesses and designers to work in Australian dollars and enable the company to provide local customer service and accounts management.
Funding for the local site comes from a US$35 million capital investment from Accel Partners, which will also be used to build similar sites for Canada and the UK.
The company currently operates out of Melbourne and San Francisco, but the addition of the Australian site will mean it will double its local staff.
At the moment, over 6000 designers have registered with 99designs. CEO Patrick Llewellyn is hoping that figure will continue to grow, with designers not needing to heavily involve themselves in the business side of the transaction.
"While [designers] focus on what they do best, we help them with finding customers, invoicing, payments, contacts and workflow management. They work how and when they want [to work], and by winning customers from around the world, they're able to buffer themselves against local economic conditions."