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Start-up 99designs Buys European Rival

The logo and web design marketplace acquired Berlin-based 12designer for an undisclosed amount.
12designer CEO Eva Missling and 99designs CEO Patrick Llewellyn in Berlin.

12designer CEO Eva Missling and 99designs CEO Patrick Llewellyn in Berlin.


If you can't beat them, buy them.

99designs--an online marketplace for logo and Web designs--announced on Tuesday it acquired Berlin-based rival company 12designer for an undisclosed amount. The company said the acquisition, its first, is part of a goal to expand internationally.

Co-founded in 2008 by Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz, the company is a rapidly growing online graphic design marketplace. 12designer is reportedly second largest online design marketplace in Europe.

While the financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed, 99designs spokeswoman Lauren Gard did say 12designer is profitable and had received 1 million Euro in financing from Grupo Intercom, a Barcelona-based Internet start-up company.

Founded a year after 99designs, 12designer looks remarkably like its new owner. A recent wave of European copycats has angered other Silicon Valley start-ups, including Airbnb, whose business models have been pirated by entrepreneurs overseas.

Gard declined to comment on whether 12designer was one such copycat.

12designer CEO Eva Missling will now be 99designs's general manager of Europe, and the 12designer office is now 99designs' European headquarters.

Last updated: Aug 7, 2012


John McDermott is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Playboy and on He recently moved from Chicago to Brooklyn, New York, to work for

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