Backed by Y Combinator, 500 Startups and SV Angel, Scoutzie launches today to give people looking for great mobile designers an online place to find the best of the best.
Because good design comes through a series of quality checks, the Scoutzie community vets all potential designers, either through a formal portfolio review or through a members-only invite process. This review process has resulted in 500 top notch members of the Scoutzie community and around 1,500 applicants who didn’t make the cut.
Some of the more prominent members of Scoutzie include the designer behind the Instagram icon, the Pair app and the Airbnb logo. Like everybody else in the world right now, the site is focused on mobile design, but founders Kirill Zubovsky and Jennifer Toda tell me that most designers’ efforts can be rerouted to web if need be.
To use Scoutzie as a consumer, visit the site and submit a design proposal, providing a product description, budget and deadline. Designers view the bid on the Scoutzie backend and contact you if it seems like a fit.
Zubovsky and Toda insist that Scoutzie is more like a traditional design agency like FJORD or Happy Cog than its most obvious competitor 99Designs, and hold that the curation of the community and emphasis on quality versus getting the cheapest possible option is what sets them apart from the aforementioned.
“In the past, when companies needed design, they would hire a big firm that would come in on site and charge you a lot of money. Thanks to the Internet, clients and individual designers can now connect directly,” says Zubosky. “It’s our goal to build a set of tools that make it really efficient for designers to connect with clients directly, in such way that designers and the end-customers could retain the money otherwise spent on the overhead.”
The startup, which monetizes by taking a 10% cut of all projects arranged via the site (versus an agency’s traditional 50% cut), is currently focused on building community feedback tools to encourage its members to feel at home and valued — which even further sets it apart from 99Designs.
TechCrunch readers interested in trying out Scoutzie can get 10% off their next project by typing in “ScoutzieTC” as a referral code here.
Attention (TechCrunch Product Manager) Christine Ying and Ned Desmond: Maybe we should use this to redesign? Right? Please?