HomeAcquisitionsBootstrapped Malaga-based scaleup Freepik snaps up Iconfinder and Original Mockups to expand...

Bootstrapped Malaga-based scaleup Freepik snaps up Iconfinder and Original Mockups to expand Nordic and Latam reach

Bootstrapped Spanish scaleup Freepik has just made two key acquisitions, snapping up Danish startup Iconfinder and Colombian Original Mockups, as it expands its reach and strengthens its position as a global leader in visual content. 

The past couple of years has seen the power of visual content come to light. It’s become a key part of business strategy, with teams across the world harnessing the power of graphics, as well as forming the basis of a growing creator and passion economy. 

Freepik Company, the parent firm behind providers of freemium illustrations (Freepik), icons (Flaticon), presentation templates (Slidesgo) and an online editor (Wepik), has consolidated itself as a global market leader in this space, and has, since its launch in 2010, been marking strategic moves that have enabled impressive growth. Now, just a few months after acquiring UK-based Videvo (audio and video content), the team has snapped up two more companies – and extends into the Nordics and Latin America. Freepik also appointed Carlos Cantú, former Twitter EMEA Exec as CMO.  

A complete content collection

With these new transactions, Freepik has given itself a complete content collection – able to provide graphics, icons, videos, illustrations, 3D resources and more. It also means the Spanish innovators have consolidated their position on a global scale with a strong foothold in the lucrative Nordic market and the growing Latin American one. 

Original Mockups is a Colombian company that offers 3D resources and mockup templates to make working as a designer and/or creative simpler and more expressive. By taking over the company, Freepik brings a headcount of 100 3D design specialists into the fold and gives them a strong position to enter LATAM’s fast-growing and high-potential market. 

Alexander Ruiz and Andrés Hernández at Original Mockups: “We always felt that there is a shared history and values between both companies. Freepik Company started in a coastal and tourist town where the tech industry had not been a main economic driver, like our beginnings in Cartagena, Colombia. We spoke the same language and shared a common goal, it seems, aiming to develop some exciting design tools to make life easier for creatives. The founders of Freepik Company have created other successful companies so the track record is encouraging, too.”

Now, in response to customer demand, content can be localized to make it more specific to this region. The current CEO of Original Mockups, Alexander Ruiz, will be leading the 3D & Mockups vertical at Freepik Company. 

“We are looking forward to accomplishing our vision of creating a hub for creatives and developers in Latin America and becoming the largest producer of digital assets in the region, helping hundreds of young creatives in finding a way to a stable and full-time job. We’re driving major changes in Latin America, improving the way companies treat their employees and supporting local talent. By joining forces, we will be in a much better position to invest in this exciting future for design.”

3Ds and mockups are some of the most demanded assets by users. Previously, in-house tests identified some knowledge gaps – specifically around 3Ds and mockups – so the decision was made to source these specialist skills outside the business. Beyond that, Original Mockups and Freepik Company have collaborated closely for the last two years, which has fostered a great relationship between the teams. Sharing a great culture fit, it was a natural next step to join the two.

Iconfinder was founded in Denmark in 2012 and is currently one of the largest icon databases in the world –  a direct competitor of Freepik’s Flaticon. This deal, therefore, gives Freepik more power in the market and is inherently strategic. It does also reflect Iconfinder’s impressive attention to detail and reputation as a heavyweight in the space, which will now bolster Freepik’s move to the Nordics. 

Martin LeBlanc, CEO and Co-Founder of Iconfinder said: Both companies share a similar vision of how we want the business to go – we survived and thrived through the tough times brought on by the pandemic and now we are confident about our new direction. Freepik Company assured me about our aligned vision and now felt like the right time to make this decision.  Our teams will work well together and there’s opportunity for everyone to grow. We can achieve great things together. What also appealed to us about Freepik was its progress made with various AI solutions – rather than fighting the tide of artificial image generation, this company is leading the charge. Now, my role is to help build a combined roadmap and help lead the transition as we begin to blend our work practices. It’s an exciting time.”

The acquisition of the Copenhagen-based company will enable Freepik Company to build out its existing portfolio and expert design team. The ambition is to blend the two products into one visual asset library. Iconfinder currently employs six skilled experts and was founded by its CEO, Martin LeBlanc. LeBlanc will be leading the icon vertical at Freepik Company.

Strong market growth

The market for design assets is booming, but some aspects, such as 3D and mockups, require a specialist skill set for which it is difficult to recruit. Both pioneers in their markets, Iconfinder and Original Mockups bring to Freepik Company technology and talent that will help customers meet the rising demands of the creative industries and tech professionals.

The new LATAM hub of 100+ skilled professionals gives Freepik Company the option to scale the production of other assets and further localize the content and UX amid international expansion.

Carlos Marín, Chief Strategy Officer at Freepik Company commented: “With the Iconfinder and Original Mockups acquisitions, Freepik Company is strengthening its offerings in the growing market for visual assets. It made complete sense to invest in these partners, who have impressed us with their attention to detail and ability to use limited resources to harness global success. We saw this as an opportunity to combine forces and invest in the experts who can help take Freepik Company to the next level of growth. Freepik Company already has a sizeable subscriber base, but localising content is always a wise move and part of our expansion plans. Both CEOs have a strong vision of where they want to go, and Freepik’s resources will contribute to scaling it all. It’s an exciting time and we’re very much looking forward to working together.”

Together with Freepik Company’s existing visual asset capabilities – which include the successful integration of artificial intelligence (AI) –  both acquisitions create a complete collection of graphic resources for personal and commercial use. These milestones consolidate the market while adding world-class talent to support Freepik Company’s next phase of growth. 

Freepik has already been recognized as one of the “1000 Fastest Growing European Companies” according to the Financial Times for four consecutive years and as one of the Top 50 Best Software Sellers according to G2Company – so it’ll be interesting to see what’s next on the horizon!

Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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