FP030: Developing One of the Largest Marketplaces Online with Collis Ta’eed

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This episode is proudly sponsored by Designhill – The World’s #1 Marketplace for Custom Designs. If you go to designhill.com/promo/foundrmag, foundr listeners will get $40 off the contest posting fee and $50 worth power upgrade of services for free. 

There aren’t too many startups on the planet that regularly make millionaires of their community members. Or who have doubled user, traffic, and revenue numbers consistently for the better part of a decade.

The story of Envato going from a modest Flash design resource to a multi-site, multi-million dollar, online heavy-hitteris the essence of startup success. In fact, as a case study, it should probably be taught in business school. Except for the small fact that the journey of CEO and Cofounder Collis Ta’eed has been anything but textbook.

Since its inception in 2006, Envato has boomed. Actually, you would have to say it has BOOMED. One and a half million active buyers, eight thriving marketplaces, 250 employees and over $215 million paid out to authors to date — all born from an idea to start a business that could support the travel aspirations of Ta’eed and his wife Cyan.

“We had just got married and we had a lot of freelance clients. It was beginning to feel like a drag! Cyan said, ‘Let’s go traveling!’ I had always wanted to start a business and we had some ideas about how it would work, so we just thought, let’s go for it. Even though we had to keep freelancing for a long time to keep living as we built the company,” Ta’eed recalls.

Since Envato launched FlashDen, its first digital marketplace that sells content created with Adobe Flash, the company has grown to include eight online marketplaces. There’s a good chance you’ve heard of at least one of them. The Largest of the Marketplaces is ThemeForest, which sells website themes and plug-ins. ThemeForest, is to digital creatives what Home Depot is to DIYers, The Envato Market also includes GraphicRiver, CodeCanyon, VideoGive, PhotoDune, 3DOcean, AudioJungle and ActiveDen (formerly FlashDen), while the broader Envato group is also home to freelance hub Studio and learning platform, Tuts+. Phew.


In this interview you will learn:

What it takes to manage a large team and becoming a leader

How Collis validates his business ideas for marketplaces and how he chooses the right ones to pursue amongst the hundreds

Raising capital vs Boostrapping

How he got his first 1000 customers

Marketing tactics and strategies for growth

& much more!


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