A Personal Note On Behance’s Growth, Funding, & Progress

Dear Behance Community-

I want to share some news with you about Behance’s growth and recent progress, our first round of funding, and exciting days ahead.

For the past five years, Behance has been a bootstrapped enterprise. We’ve sold Action Pads, books, job postings, conference tickets, and even banner ads (horror!) to generate the income to build Behance. It’s been amazing, and we’ve developed as a team and company in extraordinary ways.

But now, more than ever before, we see a tremendous opportunity to take Behance to the next level as it grows by leaps and bounds. The community is showcasing and discovering creative work at a fast clip!

  • Users’ projects have received over 1 billion views, and over 75 million views in just the past 30 days
  • Behance now showcases more than 2 million creative projects – after passing our first 1 million project milestone just eight months ago
  • We’ve received thousands of testimonials from creatives being discovered (and getting jobs!) on Behance.
  • Visitors have appreciated projects over 22 million times, and Behance’s curation team reviews ~30,000 projects every week for consideration to be featured on Behance and our 15+ Curated Gallery Sites.
  • Users have created over 10,000 personal websites using ProSite, leveraging Behance’s massive reach alongside their personal brand

Given our rapid growth, it’s time for Behance to scale. We have an exciting product pipeline we want to make happen. So, for the first time, we debated the option of continuing to bootstrap vs. raising funds. Ultimately, the team wanted to kick things up a notch: We want the resources to do our life’s greatest work in serving the creative community.

We met with all sorts of investors, sharing our mission and the progress we’re making. Ultimately, it came down to finding partners who share our vision and values.

We’re thrilled to bring on Union Square Ventures as our lead (and first) investor in Behance. The USV team understands the role of the creative community in the world, and they have a tremendous history of advising network-based businesses, namely Etsy, Twitter, Foursquare, and Kickstarter among others. And USV’s culture aligns very well with our own.

We’re also thrilled to have a few other people we admire help fund Behance, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (via Bezos Expeditions, his personal investment fund), as well as Dave Morin, Yves Behar, Chris Dixon, Dave Tisch, Dave McClure (via 500Startups), Alexis Ohanian, and Garrett Camp. These thinkers and investors have a history of changing industries. It’s a dream team for us.

Quite simply, we want the wind at our backs as we tackle the biggest problems facing the creative industry.

The creative world needs better attribution for creative work to yield more opportunity. We need to combat spec contests, middlemen, and commoditized marketplaces with better ways to find top talent. We need to boost efficiency in showcasing creative work and collaborating across disciplines. …Lots to make happen!

No doubt, Behance is still in the first inning. Our team is more excited than ever before to listen, learn, and serve the creative community in meaningful ways.

Going forward, you can expect a faster, more effective Behance and an unwavering mission to help you get organized, take creative control and make ideas happen.

Much love and respect.

Scott & Behance Team
Alex K, Alex L, Alison, Bryan, Chris, Clément, Dan, Dave, Dmitry, Florian, Jackie, Jenn, Jess, Jocelyn, John, Malcolm, Matias, Matt, Mell, Nami, Nina, Oscar, Raewyn, Sarah, Scott, Will, Zach

PS: Join us on this journey! We’re building a world-class team that wants to serve the creative world in extraordinary ways. Here are a few positions we’re hiring now!

 

 

Posted on May 14th, 2012 by Scott