Fotolia, the company that’s home to an online marketplace of royalty-free stock photos, has just acquired Wilogo, a crowdsourced design community. The all-cash deal involves the acquisition of the team, the website and services, and will see Wilogo remaining independent when the deal completes.
Founded in 2006, Wilogo is currently doing a couple of million in revenue per year, but mainly in Europe. (The company is based in the U.S., Germany and France.) Through Fotolia, and the forthcoming co-promotions the deal allows for, Wilogo will now be able to better address the U.S. market.
A competitor to major stock houses like Corbis and Getty, as well as micro-stock sites like iStockPhoto and Shutterstock, Fotolia is backed by private equity firm TA Associates, which invested $75 million into the company back in 2009. (At the time, the report was between $50-$100 million, but Fotolia CEO Oleg Tscheltzoff confirms it was $75M).
Today, Fotolia has over 3 million users, hosts 16 million+ files, and is available worldwide in 12 languages and 14 countries. Tscheltzoff tells us the company now has a run rate of over $100 million dollars in revenue per year.
For those unfamiliar, here’s how Wilogo works:
For $250, clients post their design specifications to thousands of designers, which results in hundreds of custom designed logos. The clients pick their top choices, which are then modified and presented with complete international usage rights.
Tscheltzoff says that the service complements what Fotolia is already doing online. “Both Fotolia and Wilogo are pioneers in the democratization of graphic design on the Internet,” he says. “We’ve helped hundreds of thousands of photographers sell images at affordable prices to millions of business owners and graphic designers. Wilogo goes a step further by helping business owners launch their businesses with the look of an amazing brand on a bootstrap budget.”
Wilogo has served a number of well-known clients, including L’Oreal and Seesmic, Wilogo CEO Jérôme Bazin adds.
The crowdsourcing aspect sounds a lot like what Accel-backed 99Designs is doing, which we should note, has not been without its own controversy. A vocal segment of the design community took issue with the idea of professional designers doing spec work for free. But when the Internet disrupts, it’s often about leveling the playing field – 99Designs, Wilogo and sites like that are just one of the results of such a shift.
The acquisition price was not disclosed.