At the end of March, we covered Behance’s major site redesign, at which point we learned that the startup was launching over 20K new projects every week, with 1 million projects created to date, and its network had doubled over the last month, with 10 million visits to its network in the last 30 days.
Since its founding in 2006 and launch less than a year later, Behance, which, for those unfamiliar, is an online platform on which creative professionals can connect, showcase and discover creative work, has been a bootstrapped enterprise, Behance CEO Scott Belsky tells us. But, no longer. Today, the startup is announcing that it has raised its first round of outside funding, a $6.5 million round, led by Union Square Ventures, with noted investors like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (via Bezos Expeditions, his personal investment fund), Path Founder Dave Morin, Yves Behar, Chris Dixon, Dave Tisch, Dave McClure, Alexis Ohanian, and Garrett Camp.
Belsky tells us that Behance is at an inflection point, and that it’s an important point in its growth cycle, one that puts the company — after five years — in a position where it’s ready to take on outside funding. The company passed the 1 million-projects-created milestone eight months ago, and this week, it is passing 2 million projects created. User projects have received over 1 billion views, with 75 million views coming in the past 30 days.
Visitors have “appreciated” projects over 22 million times, and Behance’s curation team is reviewing about 30K projects every week for featuring across the company’s 15+ curated gallery sites. What’s more, users have created over 10K personal websites using the company’s custom website creation tools for artists and designers.
In short, the site is growing fast, and Behance leadership feels that now is the time to take on that growth capital to help is scale. Belsky tells us that the team is excited to bring on Union Square Ventures as its first lead investor, as the firm has a track record of having funded and advised network-based businesses like Etsy, Twitter, Foursquare, and Kickstarter.
The company has also become active both in its online and offline communities, as it will this week host “Portfolio Review MeetUps” in over 400 cities around the world, in which it gathers members of its community to exchange feedback, live, in-person. And since launching its first major redesign in March (which you can read more about here), searches for creative talent have increase 70 percent.