99designs, the largest online graphic design marketplace in the world, today announced it has acquired Berlin-based, Grupo Intercom financed company 12designer, the leading creative design marketplace in Germany and the second largest in Europe after 99designs.
The acquisition is 99designs' first and signals the company's ongoing focus on international expansion via localization following its $35 million Series A investment led by Accel Partners last year.
"The combination of 99designs' global reach and resources, 12designers' regional experience, and the enormous multilingual talent pool here in Berlin will be a win for Europe's small business owners and designers alike."
Germany is 99design's number one non-English language market, its fifth largest overall and one of its fastest growing. Despite minimal marketing in Germany and other European countries, European small businesses and startups have accounted for approximately 15 percent of the 155,000 graphic design contests held on 99designs' English-language site to date. The 12designer acquisition will allow 99designs to better meet the needs of European customers by providing support in their own languages and time zones.
"We're very excited to welcome 12designer Founder and CEO Eva Missling and her talented team into the 99designs family. We believe their deep regional marketplace expertise and multi-lingual capabilities will prove instrumental in accelerating our delivery of truly localized world-class design services to European businesses and designers," said 99designs CEO Patrick Llewellyn. "This acquisition enables us to build significantly on our existing momentum and resources in Europe and gives us an ideally situated base in Berlin. As the tech startup and design hub of Europe, there is no better place from which to implement our aggressive regional growth plans."
In conjunction with the announcement, 99designs has named Missling the company's new General Manager of Europe. She will be tasked with optimizing localization of 99designs services for European markets, accelerating growth in Germany and across Europe, and building a 99designs team in Berlin. She will also continue to oversee 12designer, which boasts a community of more than 20,000 designers interacting with customers in German, French, Spanish, Italian and English. 12designer will continue to operate as a stand-alone site in the near term.
"The 12designer team is eager to join 99designs and further our shared vision of connecting businesses seeking affordable, high-quality design services with skilled designers," said Missling. "The combination of 99designs' global reach and resources, 12designers' regional experience, and the enormous multilingual talent pool here in Berlin will be a win for Europe's small business owners and designers alike."
Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.