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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Iconfinder bets on .SVG as Browsers begin supporting new Format

About a month ago in Copenhagen we stopped by entrepreneurial hotspot Founders House to catch up with the number of companies listed there. We first sat down with Martin LeBlank Eigtved, CEO of Iconfinder, to talk about where their company and the icon industry is at the moment.

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As a little history, Iconfinder started out as a directory of free icons for developers to use in their projects, then expanding to premium watermarked icons. They raised their initial capital by a few Danish investors and 500 startups, before June of 2012 raising $1.5 million from VF Venture. At that time they were the 900th most popular website in the world, according to the Alexia rankings, a number that has dropped to the respectable 2000’s. Despite whatever has affected the rankings, LeBlank says that growth is going good. “Marketplaces are self reinforcing,” says Eigtved. “We have a lot of free users and exposure with designers, and things are going faster and faster and faster – a positive feedback cycle.”

As you can imagine, Apple’s decision to update the look and feel of iOS to iOS 7 was a great restart for the icon industry and for Iconfinder. “For us, how do you sell an icon? If someone buys a house icon, why do you need to buy another. Then Apple comes in and says all icons have to be outlined, so suddenly everyone is buying icons again,” says Eigtved.

On top of that they have a new line of icons to offer developers as modern browsers get updated to handle SVG (scalable vector graphic) icons. With this format, all the icon data is loaded into CSS as base64 code rather than grabbing a .PNG or other file from your server, which cuts down the steps of uploading the file and opens up developers to new features, like being able to manipulate icon color through javascript, and so on. And perhaps the biggest sell for these SVG icons is that it’s just a dead simple copy/paste of all the icon data into their code as they use it, rather than having to upload multiple icon files into their project.

Eigtved says that these SVG icons are going to be the next major trend in the icon world, and that they’re going to be the first marketplace in this space that’s successful.

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