A Transylvanian Founding Story: Bannersnack, the Platform That Saves Time By Enabling Fast Designs And Seamless Collaboration – UPGRADE 100 Updates
1-2.10, 2020
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A Transylvanian Founding Story: Bannersnack, the Platform That Saves Time By Enabling Fast Designs And Seamless Collaboration

This is the story of Bannersnack, an all-in-one design platform that was built in a small town in Romania back in 2008.

Since then, it has helped more than three million users and Top 500 companies make powerful designs for their advertising campaigns while also growing to become a bootstrapped company of 100+ employees.

Bannersnack is a cloud-based design platform that is currently among the innovators of the design industry. It has an easy-to-use drag and drop editor, while also featuring numerous design presets and templates, making it a tool suited for anyone who needs to communicate visually.

It also boasts great collaborative features, which allow remote teams to save copious amounts of time when crafting their visuals (with feedback easily shared within the platform and branded links that can be sent to external users).

Starting out as an online banner maker 12 years ago, Bannersnack has come a long way in its evolution, with the purpose of disrupting the industry while also maintaining a customer-centric approach. The team behind Bannersnack means technology—that is why they are in the business of constantly innovating the collaborative design process.

If you are curious to know how their story came to life, then keep on reading. This is an incredible journey of a small fish, swimming in a big pond among predators.

How It All Began

The year is 2004, the city is Oradea, and an ambitious entrepreneur starts a business. His name is Gabriel Ciordaș, and he’s building an online business that makes flash tools which web designers of that time see as instrumental allies. The early Bannersnack team creates the popular component called FlashEff, when all of a sudden, they have an epiphany. They realize that design needs to be made readily available for anyone who needs it.

“Why Not Build a Platform That Makes Online Banners Easy and Fast?”

That’s how Bannersnack comes to life—in a small apartment (not in a garage, like in most American success stories), with only a handful of people led by a talented entrepreneur. This new product is an online banner maker that requires no download or installation, just a steady internet connection and a computer.

The beginning is not easy. In fact, like most small businesses, it takes a lot of hard work and long hours to go from surviving to thriving, not to mention a team of committed people.

“It was very hard in those first few months. Breaking into a new market can make any company struggle, and small businesses, in particular, face tough challenges, mostly because they lack the resources of tech giants that received external funding. Smart businesses can still be profitable if they focus on serving their communities.”

Gabriel Ciordaș , Founder & CEO of Bannersnack

 

The Gateway to Building Banners Fast

The first month of the new product is, as expected, a challenge, with less than a thousand dollars in revenue. However, the following month the revenue doubles. Four months later, they bring in almost $8K. Months go by and the product proves to be a good fit in the convenient design tools landscape. It turns out that professionals are interested in using a platform that helps them create visuals for their businesses in a quick and convenient way.

Having a rapidly growing customer base, the team knows they are onto something, and that is why they push forward to pursue their dream of building a powerful online graphic design platform that will disrupt the industry and will give everyone the chance to design without having any professional design skills.

Fast forward to 2010, and Bannersnack reaches its first milestone: one million users. Add a couple more years, and another valuable milestone is within reach: the first million of US dollars in revenue. What initially starts as an online banner maker is steadily developing, turning into an ever-advancing ecosystem where communicators can craft beautiful visuals for their business needs.

Part of the Bannersnack Team

Another key factor in making it from a small business to a full-grown company is customer service. Bannersnack has made a habit out of listening to what customers need from the product, which earned trust, but also high ratings on review platforms, including G2, Capterra, and Trustpilot.

In the founder’s own words, “Sometimes being innovative means making sure that you get the basics right, and talking to your customers will help you figure out exactly how to do that. We also pay attention to our competitors. If you want to stay afloat in business, you need to know what the competition is doing.”

A Tool That’s About Creativity, Productivity and Collaboration

Year after year, Bannersnack develops, and one of its main goals is to enhance productivity. As a result, more and more features center around this ambition, and they launch the Design Generator, which allows customers to create full sets of static or animated banner ads online within minutes.

Soon after, comes the Animation Tool, an advanced online HTML5 editor that features a complex, yet intuitive animation timeline and a dynamic slide management system.

The Bannersnack Platform

Then, there is the Collaboration feature, which allows teams to collaborate seamlessly within the same platform and become more efficient. Next, they launch a PSD Editing feature, allowing users to edit .PSD files without the use of Photoshop. This solution is unique in the market and solves the problem of marketers interested in quickly editing a file without the assistance of a designer. Last but not least, they offer the option of Smart Resize, which allows customers to quickly create different versions of the same design, with more than 30 different sizes at once.

All of their features are developed based on the feedback of their customers, and that shows real interest from Bannersnack for innovation and for coming up with solutions to improve their customers’ experience.

It All Revolves Around Community

There is one thing that has kept Bannersnack together all this time. And that is the amazing community around it.

Be they the people building the product, who have strong and healthy values and for whom teamwork, friendship, and flexibility are words put into action, or small business owners, talented designers, and busy marketers that choose to use Bannersnack in their line of work.

Is it hard to make it in the harsh, competitive world of tech companies? Yes, there is no doubt about it. And for a company to survive and make a profit, with no external funding whatsoever, it has to be even harder. From day one, you have to know what your game plan is and adapt it constantly.

The Best Is Yet to Come

Bannernsack’s goal is to create intuitive tools and efficient solutions that revolutionize the way the world communicates visually. And so far, Bannersnack has achieved it. They may be only 12 years old, but they still have more room to grow and expand. Not surprisingly, the future holds fantastic opportunities for those who dream big, like the Bannersnack team led by Gabriel Ciordaș.

You, too, can help Bannersnack continue writing its story: Give the platform a spin; you may find it useful and discover that it can save you time in your future projects.

Project Manager @ UPGRADE 100 | Producer @ UPGRADE 100, Radio Guerrilla