Graphic design marketplace 99designs has expanded its European operations by launching a localised Italian-language platform. The company, based in Melbourne and San Francisco, has its European HQ in Berlin after acquiring German startup 12designer last year.
The Italian version of the service is the third foreign-language addition, following in the footsteps of the German platform last September and a French one two months later. The company’s CEO Patrick Llewellyn said a design-obsessed country like Italy, which is also experiencing a startup boom, made it an ideal place to expand.
The 12designer connection to the new service has also been strengthened with the appointment of Giulia Depentor as Italian country manager. She had previously run the Berlin startup’s Italian language services. Patrick Llewllyn said: “With Italy’s startup scene really taking off in recent months, it seemed the ideal time to give Italian entrepreneurs a native-language version of 99designs to help brand their companies and get to market quickly.”
Eva Missling founded 12designer and now heads up European operations for 99designs. She said: “The rapid adoption of 99designs in Germany and France following our introduction of localized sites in these countries is a clear indication that offering regionally tailored platforms and support is critical,”
12designer marked the first acquisition by 99designs, which was founded in 2008 and which closed a $35 million funding round in April 2011 led by Accel Partners and a group of leading angel investors. Its platform connects businesses looking for design work with 201,000 registered designers spread across 150 countries. So far it has hosted 186,000 design contests, with one design uploaded every five seconds.