Earlier this year, CEO and Envato Co-founder, Collis Ta’eed, spoke at The Sunrise conference in Sydney, Australia. The Sunrise is a conference where founders of Australia’s iconic startups describe the early years of their business. The presentation is 15 minutes in length with 30 minutes dedicated to questions.
There’s a lot of great information in the presentation, especially if you’re running a bootstrapped business. I also admire Ta’eed’s delivery as he comes off as a straight shooter. He reminds me of myself when I tried to launch a business several years ago.
Envato began as a stock Flash template marketplace called Flash Den. Flash Den was eventually renamed to Active Den due to Adobe owning the trademarks associated with Flash.
Envato started with $30k and is still a bootstrapped company. Ta’eed receives numerous offers every year from venture capitalists looking to invest in Envato. So far, he has not accepted any outside funding.
AppStorm was the precursor to the Apple App Store. Before Ta’eed could turn AppStorm into an app marketplace, Apple released the App Store crushing his idea.
At 32:26, Ta’eed is asked how he came up with the name Envato. He bought it from Brandbucket for $1k.
At 38:50, Ta’eed is asked to describe how massive the Envato marketplace is. His response, “We sell something every 6 seconds, we sell a million WordPress theme per year, and we have the largest stock music marketplace by volume with a million tracks licensed each year.”
At 42:52, Ta’eed is asked about Envato’s relationship to WordPress. He admits to the licensing challenges and mentions that, when Envato started selling WordPress themes, he didn’t know what the GPL was. He describes the relationship as symbiotic.