From leggings emblazoned with laser-eyed cats to duvets covered in Nicholas Cage’s face, Redbubble has printed its way to a stock market float and $267 million valuation.
Redbubble, started a decade ago by three friends in Melbourne, is one of the largest online platforms allowing anyone to sell designs printed on products including T-shirts, cushion covers and phone cases.
“We have people come to Redbubble because people want that type of creativity, they want it in their lives or they are actually artists themselves,” co-founder and chief executive Martin Hosking told AAP.
About 45 per cent of artists who first sold on the website in 2006 still sell in 2016, Mr Hosking said.
Due to list on the Australian Securities Exchange on May 16 at an issue price of $1.33, Redbubble hopes to raise nearly $30 million in a bid to continue its growth.
Key to the success of the company was a focus on the worldwide market from the very start, Mr Hosking said.
“Redbubble comes out of an unusual position of actually scaling a global company out of Australia,” he said.
Australia had a few tech successes but very few were consumer-focused, he said.
Although there is a professional artistic community on the site, Redbubble also reflects internet culture with memes and pop culture printed on almost anything.
“The internet can be a pretty wild spot,” Mr Hosking said.
Since Redbubble’s inception, competitors such as Society6 and Print All Over Me have sprung up but Mr Hosking said the closest was still half the size of his company.
“They’ve had very little impact on us or our growth rate simply because, once the marketplace gets going, it’s very sticky,” he said.
“The more artists you have, the more consumers you have. The more consumers you have, the more artists you have.”