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The Story of Envato

From a small idea in a garage to one of the creative world’s most quietly influential companies, this is the story of Envato.

Posted 28 Aug 2018
The Story of Envato

It was 2006 and in a garage somewhere in Sydney, three young entrepreneurs, Collis and Cyan Ta’eed, and Jun Rung created something.

It was a marketplace called FlashDen. And it would sell items compatible with Adobe Flash player, a plugin used by almost every website on the internet at the time.

The first buyer on that market was Collis, who would become CEO.

Not long after that the newly formed company launched two more products: PSD Tuts, which offered tutorials for Photoshop, and Freelance Switch.

But then Collis and Cyan took a much needed a break. Travelling the world for what ended up being 19 months, and left the company in the hands of Collis’ brother, Vahid.

In 2008 two more marketplaces went live. ThemeForest, which sold themes for WordPress and other platforms, and AudioJungle which sold royalty-free stock music tracks and sound effects.

That same year the company housing all these marketplaces was finally given a name. Having previously worked under the name, Eden – which was difficult to win a trademark for – the company settled on Envato, a name suggested by Brand Bucket.

In 2009 GraphicRiver, which sold graphic design templates, and VideoHive, which sold stock footage and motion graphics templates, launched.

Then in July of that year, Collis and Cyan returned to Australia, and decided to move the company to Melbourne.

That year the company moved into its first of many headquarters, an office 330 square meters large, with room for about thirty. Over the next two years they’d outgrow it.

In 2010 Envato launched another marketplace, CodeCanyon, selling plugins and scripts.

In 2011, it launched PhotoDune, selling stock photography, and 3DOcean selling 3D items.

That same year it moved to its second office with room for fifty. It would soon outgrow that, too.

In 2011, Envato Creator, Kriesi, became the first of our community of creators to reach $1 million in earnings on the Envato marketplace.

In 2013, Microlancer, a marketplace for freelancers, which would go on to become Envato Studio, was launched.

That same year the company moved into new headquarters at 121 King Street, Melbourne with room for 200.

In 2014, Envato was named “Australia’s Coolest Tech Company” by JobAdviser.

In 2014, Envato Videographer, Josh Janssen travelled the world to capture the stories of our creative community.

In September 2014, the Envato Community hit $200 million in earnings.

In 2015, ActiveDen, previously FlashDen, the marketplace that started it all, was closed.

That same year Envato was named one of the best places to work in Australia, and Coolest Company for Women.

In August 2015, the Envato Community hit $300 million in earnings, and ThemeForest Creator, ThemeFusion became the first Envato author to reach $10 million in sales.

In May 2016, the Envato Community hit $400 million in earnings.

In August of that year Envato’s marketplace reached 2 million active buyers.

That same month, Envato’s subscription service, Envato Elements launched.

And in July 2018, Envato acquired Placeit, a DIY tool that allows anyone to make something creative.

Since 2006, Envato has made good on its mission to help creatives earn a living from selling on our marketplace with our community having earned over $600 million dollars since the company’s inception.

We’re one of the most highly trafficked web destinations in the world, with Themeforest topping Netflix in 2015. And we’ve also surpassed 10 million registered users.

Our products have appeared everywhere from small business websites Kanye West music videos. And between the templates you can buy on Envato Elements, and the courses you can take on Envato Tuts+, we’ve helped millions of people get creative projects done.

Community is at the heart of everything we do. Not just in the way we help our marketplace creators and customers, but in the way we contribute to our wider community, too. Each year we donate a portion of our profits to charity. Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to support causes as diverse as mental health, environmental protection, education, literacy and family violence.

From a small idea in a garage to one of the creative world’s most quietly influential companies, Envato has come a long way since 2006, and the story is not over yet.

Our mission is to bring ideas to life and help creators earn a living doing what they love.


Video by Dom Hennequin


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