Envato, the Australia-based digital assets company, announced it is shutting down Envato Studio, its community freelance platform, and Twenty20, a stock photo website. The company continues to tighten its belt and focus on newer products after it laid off 100 of its 700 employees, citing global conflicts and inflation.
“We were spread too thin across all of these products we’d established,” Envato CEO Hichame Assi told told The Australian Financial Review.
“They’re all creative products, but some are older with legacy platforms, whereas some are newer and going really well. We wanted to sharpen focus on our future products that are going really well.”
The company’s most recent update indicated Envato is shifting to focus on Envato Market, Envato Elements, and Placeit, a tool for creating branding and marketing assets, while phasing out other products. This week the Envato community found out that these legacy platforms include Envato Studio and Twenty20.
Many Envato Studio service providers, who have completed more than 230,000 jobs since it launched in 2014, were surprised to learn that Envato is giving them under two months notice before it shutters the service on August 21. Providers have built their profiles with positive reviews for their work on creative projects – everything from logo design to WordPress customization.
“It is not just bad news – it is a shocking news for me and to all who consider Envato Studio as a main earning source,” express customization provider WonderArt said.
“How I run my family now, it will take a long time to restart my marketplace earning again. You know how hard is to approve the item now and sales are not guaranteed. I am very much disappointed by this decision.”
Some saw the writing on the wall after Envato stopped investing in the platform and new clients and orders were dwindling. Others, for whom Envato Studio was their main source of income, are shocked and scrambling to find a new way to support themselves on short notice.
“Many of us rely on the steady income from express services to make a living, so really in my case such an abrupt and inconsiderate closure affects me greatly and hits me very hard, especially as I have two young children and a family to continue to support, plus bills that will keep coming in,” user touringxx said.
“With thousands of jobs done on my part (1733+) and 100% buyer satisfaction, I have put a lot of effort and patience into building and maintaining that reputation over the years, to now see it simply disappear as if it were worthless.”
After investing so many years building their profiles and serving clients, multiple longtime Envato Studio service providers begged for more time before closing the platform.
“This is not a good and fair decision in the middle of an economic crisis, we have spent our time here for 8-9 years and more, you should give more time before closing the platform,” one user Nofomsok said. “It’s just not fair.”
With under two months notice on the platform shutting down, many participants in the discussion said they felt the transition was too abrupt. They suggested six months to prepare for the shift, as well as creating a static, read-only version of the platform where clients can browse through service providers and send them messages through their profiles.
“It is incredible how Envato doesn’t at least comment on this matter, we are waiting to hear from them is this the treatment we deserve for so many hardworking years?” @jassdesigngroup said.
“We are real people with families, not just numbers.”
Envato eventually did respond, indicating they are listening to feedback but did not mention an extension of the timeline for shutting down the platform.
“We are in the process of creating a solution that will hopefully help with your Studio reviews,” an Envato representative commented.
These additional considerations may be too late for those who had all their eggs in one basket.
“It’s a business decision that is up to you,” hibiscustechno commented. “But this transition is passing a big message to the creative members in ThemeForest, ‘Hey guys, Today we burned all together, You authors have the time to save yourselves by selling your products using your own website rather than giving $$ commission to a platform and keep the clients with you.’”