99designs is in Singapore — both literally and figuratively. The design crowdsourcing marketplace is launched its Singapore-oriented 99designs.com.sg site, targeting one of the company’s top markets for clients. With this new site, Singaporean users can now purchase design work using local currency. Users can also call for customer support using a local number. This comes after 99designs launched its local-currency site for the Hong Kong market, 99designs.hk.
In line with this, general manager for Asia Pacific Jason Sew Hoy is also in town to speak at Startup Grind Singapore, Crowdsourcing Week, as well as Echelon, the region’s top tech startup conference, where he will be connecting with the local community. “99designs has connected tens of thousands of entrepreneurs around the world with graphic designers, including many here in Singapore’s thriving startup scene. It’s an exciting time for 99designs to launch a localized Singapore site and double-down on our efforts here and across Asia. I can’t wait to connect with thousands of talented entrepreneurs at Echelon.”
99designs is “ready to more formally invest in accelerating our growth” in the region, notes 99designs president and CEO Patrick Llewellyn. He adds that “customer bases in regional startup hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong have grown at a remarkable pace,” while the most successful design communities are in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Engaging the community
With this in mind, 99designs is going on a two-week design community tour around key cities in Indonesia and the Philippines, where a team of designer community liaisons led by community director Jason Aiken will run design events, including a National Conference for Indonesian designers in Yogyakarta this June 7th.
Jason Sew Hoy tells e27 that 99designs has also hired a staff of three Philippine-based design consultants, who will help users around the world write design briefs and facilitate their contests. According to Jason, the company is reviewing doing the same across other regions, given the advantages that localization offers international users. “We’ve learned a lot about how best to approach internationalization over the past year in the course of launching nine new sites across Europe and Latin America, and we’re looking forward to applying those learnings as we focus on building our presence throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” he says.
To date, 99designs hosts more than 220,000 designers worldwide, and focuses on providing affordable design services through design contests, after which clients would usually engage with designers for follow-up work. In the Asia Pacific region, 99designs has paid out US$10 million to designers in the Philippines and Indonesia since its launch in 2008, with a worldwide payout of US$54 million to designers globally.