DesignCrowd aims new $3m expansion capital firmly at US

A year ago, DesignCrowd looked on at the US market longingly. After spending AU$3 million expanding to eight new countries first, it's ready to put another AU$3 million installment towards achieving its American dream.

Crowdsourcing design marketplace startup DesignCrowd has picked up a further AU$3 million in venture capital from Starfish Ventures and hopes to realise its plans to expand to the US.

The company, which provides an online marketplace for businesses to crowdsource creative projects to others, has been primarily funded off of a AU$3 million injection from Starfish two years ago. Prior to that it received AU$300,000 from angel investors that saw promise in the company in 2009, AU$10,000 from its founder Alec Lynch's savings, and an unspecified amount across three credit cards used to bootstrap the company at inception.

At Starfish's first investment , Lynch told ZDNet that while Australia represented a good market for crowdsourcing, he wanted to increase his company's head count to 10 local staff and expand to overseas markets, noting that the US in particular is significantly bigger. Since that time, Lynch has grown the company to 20 people and launched in eight countries.

While a considerable achievement in a year, which includes growing revenues by over 500 percent, Lynch's goal of expanding to the US with a physical presence has evaded him until now. With the new funding, Lynch plans to open a US office, hire sales and marketing staff there, and manage its international growth from that location.

"The US market is at the top of our list of priorities. It's become our biggest source of sales despite not having an office or any employees there. We'll open an office and build our team in the US in the next 12 months," Lynch said in a statement.

"The extra capital will also help us explore new markets including Europe, South America and Asia and allow us to invest further in new products and features."