Vistaprint acquires Crello and Depositphotos, rebrands as Vista, to better take on Canva and others in online creative design for businesses

Vistaprint, the Dutch company that has built a name for itself in providing printing and marketing services for consumers, sole traders and small businesses, is making a pair of acquisitions as it looks for better ways to square up to the opportunity to serve SMBs with digital services. The company is acquiring online graphic design editor Crello, and an online graphic design editor that competes against Canva, and stock photo repository Despositphotos, for a total price of $85 million.

Along with the acquisitions, Vistaprint is rebranding as just “Vista” and will be launching a new service powered by Crello called VistaCreate.

The moves come as part of a wider $250 million investment that Vista, which is part of publicly-traded Cimpress (and which has a number of other design brands under its umbrella), has been making into reviving and updating its platform and brand, which also included buying 99designs, a marketplace to source designers and their work, a year ago. It also recently linked a partnership with Wix to enable tighter integrations between its services and Wix’s website building services.

The plan is not to move away from print, but to augment it.

“Our north star is to be a partner for SMBs in digital print and design,” said Florian Baumgartner, president of Vista, in an interview this week. Vista does not disclose how many customers it has currently except to note that it is in the “millions.”

Crello, based out of Cyprus, appeared to be a bootstrapped company, but it had grown to a substantial size since being founded in 2017. The company also has “millions” of customers, and more specifically it added 3 million this year alone, spanning some 150 countries, and its users create more than 1 million projects each month.

Depositphotos does not disclose its user numbers but says that it holds some 220 million royalty-free photos and other graphics created by some 100,000 contributors. The company is based out of New York and had raised just under $6 million, with investors including TMT Investments in London.

Canva, now valued at $40 billion, is the big elephant in the room for companies like Vista longer term. The company has the capital, and the firepower, to build new products on a newer platform to address the needs of modern businesses. (Its latest frontier: Video.)

That does not rule out more incumbent players creating a new playing field for themselves by consolidating disparate design services on to their own platforms, however.

Vadim Nekhai, who had been the CEO of Despositphotos, is taking on a new role as VP of VistaCreate and believes there is life yet left in the incumbent.

“Over twenty years ago, VistaPrint invented online design and publishing tools for print marketing materials to empower small businesses to create attractive designs without having to learn complex software,” he said in a statement. “VistaCreate brings the same simplicity to social media and other forms of digital design and Depositphotos brings a vast library of high-quality imagery, videos and music. We look forward to being part of the Vista team as we continue to innovate together to help small businesses look and feel professional both online and offline.”

Printing giant Vistaprint acquires 99designs

Vistaprint announced today that its parent company Cimpress has acquired freelance design marketplace 99designs.

The companies say that 99designs will become part of Vistaprint while also operating as a separate brand, with 99designs CEO Patrick Llewelyn continuing lead his team and reporting to Cimpress/Vistaprint CEO Robert Keane.

The acquisition announcement emphasizes the opportunity of connecting 99designs’ freelance designers with the 20 million small businesses who use Vistaprint to print signs, banners, business cards and other marketing materials — so they can their design and printing needs handled in one place.

Apparently Vistaprint has already been expanding into design services, with offerings that include a design service that businesses have used for to create custom face masks during the pandemic.

“The driving force behind Vistaprint’s future with 99designs is our passion to help small businesses,” Keane said in a statement. “We know how critical great design is for entrepreneurs on their journey. 99designs and Vistaprint have shared values and vision to be a trusted partner to business owners and creators, which lay the foundation for something bigger and more valuable than either of our teams could create alone.”

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Cimpress is publicly-traded, while 99designs has remained private, despite Llewellyn’s plans to go public a couple of years ago. The design company was founded in 2008n and raised a total of $45 million from Accel and Recruit Strategic Partners.