WeTransfer acquires award-winning creative apps Paper and Paste
The acquisition brings together two like-minded teams serving creatives worldwide
August 21, 2018 –WeTransfer today announced the acquisition of popular applications Paper
(an immersive sketching app) and Paste (a presentation tool for fast-moving teams).
WeTransfer acquired the team, the entire patent/IP and trademark portfolio, and all assets for
the applications from New York and Seattle-based FiftyThree Inc. With this acquisition,
WeTransfer will expand its suite of services for creatives, enabling the effortless transfer of
ideas from initial inspiration through to final delivery.
Since its founding in 2009, WeTransfer has stood for simplicity and transparency, allowing its
users to share ideas by sending large files around the world with a clean interface and no
mandatory signup process. This allows WeTransfer’s more than 42 million monthly users to
work without distractions—no spam, no flashing ads, no unnecessary clicks—and has made
their file-transferring service a favorite among creative professionals. FiftyThree, which is named for the original tools for human creativity — the 53 centimeters that connect head, heart, and hand — likewise have built beautifully simple tools on the values of creative flow.
Gordon Willoughby, WeTransfer’s CEO commented, “As WeTransfer continues to expand we
remain committed to serving the creative community and providing products that enhance and
improve their workflow. This acquisition expands WeTransfer’s family of obvious creative tools,
both on mobile and the web. FiftyThree’s products are beautiful and easy-to-use, and as a
business they share a sense of ethics and transparency that resonate with our core values. We
have a great fit with the highly talented FiftyThree team, and we look forward to further building on the multiple synergies between our two products.”
Paper, the immersive sketching app that launched in 2012 and has defined creation on
mobile, has been downloaded over 25 million times and was named Apple's iPad App of the
Year. Just as Paper has become an essential tool for individuals, Paste was launched in
December and has become the collaborative tool of choice for over 100,000 creative teams. It
brings teams together and spurs innovation for a wide range of businesses from Artsy to
Peloton. Paste combines team communication, applications, and workflows in beautiful slides
fast. Named one of the best productivity of 2018 by Fast Company and top apps for Slack, it’s a
versatile tool for teams to quickly and effortlessly collaborate.
FiftyThree co-founder and CEO Georg Petschnigg noted, “We believe technology should serve
the human need to create. Our combined products support the transfer and transformation of ideas while keeping creative teams in their flow. Over the last seven years, we shaped the very nature of creation on mobile, and with WeTransfer we will expand the focus to the web.”
FiftyThree’s founders Georg Petschnigg and Andrew Allen and the teams in New York and
Seattle will join WeTransfer to continue to grow and develop WeTransfer’s suite of creative
This is WeTransfer’s first acquisition of an American company, and marks the second major
step in the organization’s expansion into the United States, which began with the opening of a
Los Angeles office in 2016. With this acquisition, WeTransfer will have offices both on the East
(New York City) and the West Coast (Los Angeles).
FiftyThree builds beautifully simple tools for creativity. They are the makers of Paper, the
essential sketching app for getting ideas down and Paste the collaboration tool for fast-moving creative teams. Internationally recognized for design excellence and innovation, they’ve
received awards from Apple, IDSA, The Edison Awards, and IxDA. FiftyThree’s products reach
more than 25 Million creative thinkers worldwide. Founded in 2011, FiftyThree’s design and
patented technologies set the standard for creation on mobile.
WeTransfer makes beautifully obvious tools that bring ideas to life. Founded in 2009 in
Amsterdam as a simple, well-designed file sharing service for the creative community,
WeTransfer has grown to include tools that scale across the creative spectrum, including
WePresent (an editorial platform with 2 million monthly readers), WeTransfer for Mobile (with 5
million monthly users) and the original web platform (with 42 million monthly users and over a
billion files sent each month).
From the beginning, WeTransfer has prioritized bringing “offline” values--trust, transparency,
and ethics--online. This means the leanest data policy possible and tools that don’t distract
people from their creative flow. WeTransfer has pioneered a new means of online advertising,
resulting in the platform’s full-page wallpapers, designed by our award-winning in house creative studio. Advertisers include industry-leading brands like Apple, Saint Laurent, Google,
Balenciaga, Samsung, Netflix, Adidas, and Squarespace.
Since our founding, WeTransfer has proudly supported the creative communities and given up
to 30% of our advertising to support the arts, donating over 5 billion impressions in 2017.
Through our ongoing advertising grant program and content platform, WePresent, we have
partnered with hundreds of groundbreaking artists and organizations, including Björk, Trevor Noah, Ryan McGinley, Moby, FKA twigs, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the UN Development Program, the World Wildlife Foundation and the Prince Estate. In 2016, WeTransfer launched the world’s first free Masters of the Arts in design thinking with the University of the Underground and Worldwide FM, the global radio station run by legendary BBC DJ Gilles Peterson.
Following a $25 million investment from Highland Capital in 2015, WeTransfer opened a US
office in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, to add to the Amsterdam headquarters. In 2018,
WeTransfer acquired popular creative apps Paper and Paste and expanded into Seattle and
New York City.
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