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Type Private
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people Mitch Free (CEO), Steve Cook (COO), Doug Haddaway (CFO), Andy Augustine (CTO)
Industry Internet, Networking, Manufacturing
Employees 215 (2008)
Website is an online marketplace for manufacturers. The company reportedly has more than 100,000 members around the world. Members include buyers, engineers, purchasing professionals, job shops and contract manufacturers. Its headquarters are in Atlanta and the company also has offices in Paris, Munich, Geneva, and Shanghai. is privately owned by Mitch Free, Founder and CEO, Bezos Expeditions and Fidelity Ventures. The company currently employs 220 people worldwide.


History was founded by Mitch Free in 1999 with the first site transaction taking place on February 14, 2000. Free, a former machinist, was a CAD/CAM dealer at the time and he started the business for his customers. Free bootstrapped the entire venture and gradually acquired and retained customers growing the company to a profitable business. In 2005, Free accepted an investment from Jeff Bezos of Bezos Expeditions.[1] In June of 2006, acquired Geneva based[2] and in October 2006, the company opened its second largest office in Shanghai[3]. In 2007, Fidelity Ventures invested in the company.[4]Mitch Free still serves as the CEO of the company with members of Bezos Expeditions and Fidelity Ventures sitting on the board. was named by Business 2.0 as one of the 15 companies that will change the world in 2006. [5]

Buyers and Engineers

Buyers, engineers and purchasing professionals use for free.[6] These individuals upload their RFQs online and are connected with suppliers that meet their qualifications. “Buyers” have the ability to connect with job shops and contract manufacturers based on geographic location, certifications or capabilities. Buyers can also have job shops and contract manufacturers sign electronic NDA forms.

Job Shops and Contract Manufacturers

Job Shops and contact manufacturers pay an annual subscription fee to use These individuals have full access to RFQs being sourced by members of the purchasing community.


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