Online graphic design marketplace 99Designs is moving its global HQ back to Melbourne after a seven-year stint in the US.

CEO Patrick Lewellyn is also returning from the US to prepare the company for a possible IPO on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Launched in 2008, 99designs has operations in Melbourne, Oakland California, and Berlin. The company says it is profitable and has an annual revenue run rate of $US60 million.

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“Business is stronger than ever and it’s a great feeling to return home to where it all started almost ten years ago,” said Llewellyn.

“The US is still our largest market and will continue to be critical to 99designs. However, strategically, in order to pave the way for 99designs’ next phase of growth and possible IPO, Melbourne is the best place for us to be headquartered right now.”

The marketplace has paid $IS200 million to freelance designers on its platform since the company started.

99Designs attributes much of its growth to an increase in small business, agency and corporate clients accessing design services, and growth of its 1-to-1 Projects product that enables a designer and a customer to collaborate individually on the platform. This now accounts for more than 20 per cent of the company’s total revenue.

“While entrepreneurs and small businesses continue to constitute the core of our business at 99designs, sales from the agency sector are actually growing about sixty per cent faster than any other type of customer,” said Llewellyn.

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