DesignCrowd founder Alec Lynch started the business in 2008, and grown it into a multi-million dollar business with users in over 159 countries.
It already has 40,000 registered graphic designers from around the world, equivalent to four times more than the 10,000 designers employed in design studios in Australia.
“We’ve done well in Australia, now we want to take on the world and Starfish is the perfect partner to help us succeed,” Lynch said.
Starfish’s Tony Glenning said the venture company “really believes in the crowdsourcing model.”
“We are really attracted to the idea of crowdsourcing the solution, rather than simply providing a marketplace for outsourcing, which ends up as a race to the bottom and is neither beneficial to the customer nor the designer.”
DesignCrowd plans to use the investment to grow its client base in markets outside Australia (particularly in the US) and to launch two new services in 2012.
In the short term, the start-up plans to hire aggressively, with Lynch looking to hire 10 people by January and a COO immediately to handle the growth and implement plans.