DesignCrowd receives a $3M investment following New Zealand launch

( Crowdsourcing website DesignCrowd has received a $3M investment from Starfish Ventures shortly after launching in New Zealand

DesignCrowd – an online “crowdsourcing” marketplace that launched in New Zealand in October – has received a $3M venture capital investment from Australian VC firm Starfish Ventures to grow its presence in NZ, the US and other important markets.

DesignCrowd, which was founded in 2008 in Sydney by Alec Lynch at the age of 23, is now a multimillion dollar business with users/clients spanning 159 countries. The investment follows shortly after a mid-October launch into the New Zealand market, bringing the crowdsourcing platform to Kiwi designers and businesses.

DesignCrowd’s disruptive design crowdsourcing process has helped it grow internationally and attract clients like Harvard Business School (who received 267 logo designs from 57 designers when they “crowdsourced” their Forum for Innovation and Growth logo via DesignCrowd). DesignCrowd already has 40,000 registered graphic designers from around the world (four times more than the 10,000 designers employed in design studios in Australia) and hopes to increase the number of registered New Zealand graphic designers from 200 to 10,000.

Founder and CEO Alec Lynch said, “Starfish’s investment is very exciting – it will help us grow from a bootstrapped Sydney start-up into a global company. We’ve done really well in Australia, we’ve just
entered the NZ market and now, with Starfish‟s support, we can target the rest of the world.”

Tony Glenning of Starfish Ventures (who led the investment in DesignCrowd) said, “We really believe
in the crowdsourcing model. In particular, we are really attracted to the idea of crowdsourcing the
solution, rather than simply providing a marketplace for outsourcing, which ends up as a race to the
bottom and is neither beneficial to the customer nor the designer. Alec and his team have done a
great job providing a unique offering that serves both.”

Starfish’s investment in DesignCrowd is particularly noteworthy given the current economic climate.
It is the second time DesignCrowd, which launched during the “global financial crisis”, has raised
capital during an economic downturn. In 2009, Lynch received $0.3M of investment from “angel”
investors and the business has since grown more than 1300% – highlighting the strength of
DesignCrowd’s business model and team.

DesignCrowd plans to use the investment to grow its client base in markets outside Australia (such
as New Zealand) and to launch two new services in 2012. In the short term, DesignCrowd plans to
hire aggressively and Lynch says “We‟re looking to hire ten people by January and we need a Chief
Operating Officer immediately to help us handle the growth and implement our plans.”

Alec Lynch, +61 412 370 537,

About Starfish Ventures
Established in 2001, Starfish Ventures is an Australian owned venture capital fund manager seeking
superior returns through active investment in innovative technology companies. Starfish Ventures
has over $385 million in funds under management and has made investments in over 40 companies
to date.

Starfish Ventures seeks investments in emerging Australian businesses across all technologies sectors
including information and communications technology, biotechnology and life sciences, industrial
technology, and cleantech. For more information go to

Starfish Contact
Katya Baxter,
Communication Manager, Starfish Ventures
Ph: +61 3 9654 2121 or +61 438 123 356

DesignCrowd Contact
Alec Lynch,
CEO, DesignCrowd
Ph: +64 9 889 2150