Teespring is a platform for custom apparel. The company was founded by Walker Williams and Evan Stites-Clayton in 2011 in Providence, RI as a way to simplify the process of selling custom T-shirts. The company has received $55 million in venture capital from Khosla Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz
Teespring allows users to create unique campaigns in order to sell custom apparel. Users choose the colour and type of item they would like to sell, and add a design. Designs can be uploaded from outside of the platform, or be created using the variety of fonts and clip art provided by Teespring. After creating the design, users set a price for their item(s) and choose a sales goal. No orders are processed, manufactured, or shipped, until the campaign has "tipped," meaning that the sales goal was reached or surpassed.
Teespring handles the production and distribution of the shirts, as well as the customer service associated with any order placed on their site.
All shirts are screen-printed in different facilities across the United States. Currently, Teespring offers T-shirts, hoodies, long-sleeve shirts, tank tops, youth apparel, as well as kids and babies apparels. The company has alluded to a diversification in offerings, but Teespring's designer page doesn't yet offer any non-apparel products.
According to founders Williams and Stites-Clayton, the inspiration for Teespring came in the Spring of 2011 when the two wanted to sell T-shirts to commemorate the closing of a local bar. Rather than investing in a bulk order of shirts in various sizes, the Brown University seniors created a website where interested parties could submit pre-orders with their size and payment. The payment information would only be processed if they collected a minimum of 200 orders.
Over 400 shirts were sold, and the two were able to process the buyers’ payment information and successfully fulfil the orders. After receiving numerous requests from additional organisations asking for a custom campaign, Walker and Evan decided to pursue the concept of crowd-funded custom apparel full-time.
Rhode Island angel investors Bill Cesare and Mark Weiner invested the first $600,000 in seed funding. The company officially launched in October 2012 in Providence, RI.
In November 2014, the company announced closing its Series B funding round at $35 million from Khosla Ventures to continue to fuel its growth and expansion, which includes the addition of a new facility in Kentucky that’s expected to create hundreds of jobs next year. Andreessen additionally participated in the round.
Individuals create campaigns in order to sell custom products on Teespring. Campaign creators are expected to design and market the product themselves. In exchange, Teespring will fulfil orders on campaigns that have reached their sales goal (called “tipped” campaigns), and will ship item(s) to buyers..
Once a campaign has ended and successfully reached its sales goal, the shirts ordered by buyers are sourced to a screen-printing facility. The designs are then printed on each individual item.
In October 2012, the company announced they'd reached over $500,000 in monthly sales. In March 2013, the company reported $750,000 in monthly revenue and a fifty percent month-over-month growth rate.
In December 2013, Teespring was accepted into the prestigious start-up accelerator Y-Combinator which is based in Mountain View, California. Within two weeks of finishing the three-month accelerator, Teespring raised another $1.3 million including $500,000 from Sam Altman, now president at Y-Combinator.
In January 2014, Teespring closed a Series A round of $20 million from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Andreessen partner Laars Dalgaard, formerly of SuccessFactors, led the investment, his first with the firm.
In November 2014, Teespring raised a Series B round of $35 million from venture capital firm Khosla Ventures, with partner Keith Rabois joining the company's board.
Current revenues and growth are unknown and unlisted. Most recent reports list the company’s size at roughly 220 employees.