Singapore-based online printing marketplace Gogoprint has raised US$7.7 million in a Series A funding round led by Online Printing Group, the company said in a press release today.
Launched in 2015, the company aggregates orders from users and sends them to print houses. It currently operates in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. The firm has a headcount of 125 staff, and is looking to hire 30 more people.
Online Printing Group is an investment company run by Kai Hagenbuch, who also backed Printi, a similar company in Brazil. Gogoprint had previously secured a seed round of “mid-six figures” from this group. The names of the other investors were not disclosed.
Gogoprint intends to use the funds to speed up its product development efforts as well as to expand into new markets in Asia Pacific, like Australia, New Zealand and South Korea in the next 12 months.
As for customers, it has worked with more than 45,000 businesses like Honda, Lion Air, Yamaha, Nanyang Technological University, and Booking.com. It also claims to have printed 250 million products, from business cards to flyers.
Its co-founder and managing director, David Berghaeuser (pictured above) told KrASIA about three lessons the company has learned so far:
- Print results have to be consistent in quality, but this was hard to achieve because working with a variety of production partners means everyone uses different machinery and software. Gogoprint had to introduce many processes to ensure consistency. These processes include introducing quality standards and maintaining these standards within its production network, even though different partners may use different papers and inks, among other things. Those that do not hit its standards consistently may see a reduction in jobs given or might even be removed.
- More than 95% of all printing is ordered offline in Southeast Asia. Berghaeuser said that with a mix of online and offline marketing activities, the startup was able to educate customers on the cost benefits of going online for print requests.
- To scale quickly, it needed a sophisticated IT system to handle customer artwork files, prepare them for printing, and find the ideal production partner for the work. This takes into consideration “quality, speed, and production price”. He did not specify the components that went into building this IT system.
In Asia, Berghaeuser added, companies tend to be dependant on long-standing business relationships, which is one challenge to overcome to convince clients to make the switch from offline-scheduled prints to e-commerce powered transactions. The company invested more effort into explaining the business benefits of choosing online printing over the offline alternative, and why its product is one that provides more value.
Editor: Nadine Freischlad