Keen Launches Public Beta of PrintMo.co that Offers Real-Time Pricing, Order Placing with Local Printers
SAN MATEO, CA—November 4, 2014—Finding the right printer for marketing projects, time-sensitive event materials, or good 'ol startup t-shirts is incredibly time-consuming and inefficient. An order can be placed with an online printer but it often comes with long lead times, limited choices, unpredictable quality, and a lack of customer service. Ask someone for a referral to a local print shop, and if you are lucky and it is a good match, you are still faced with a sea of e-mails and phone calls to get even the most basic order completed. Enter PrintMo.co.
Today with the launch of PrintMo.co customers can easily find the right local vendor for anything printed and drastically reduce the sea of e-mails needed to have the order produced and delivered on time.
Where the typical online print ordering experience ends with a checkout button, PrintMo.co provides real-time prices, reviews, and lead times for five to 20 curated local print shops. All of the communication and payments between customers and their vendors are centralized through PrintMo and the site provides free, high-quality design templates to help even novice designers get great looking finished products.
Much like AirBnB created the platform for guests and hosts to find each other and remove friction in doing business; PrintMo.co promises to modernize the process in one of the most important industries still largely stuck in the 20th century. The company closed a small Series A round early this year with IDG-Accel, 500 Startups (who's supported Keen from its seed round), and a number of angels. Keen's ecommerce SaaS powers a number of print shops and the marketplace is a new addition to their platform.
The highly fragmented print industry is comprised of over 200,000 mostly small companies around the world. It ships over $650 billion annually, which is considerably larger than the entire auto manufacturing industry and over five times all online advertising. In the United States, the print industry employs almost a million people and ships over $160 billion worth of products. While most people may recognize retail printing outlets like FedEx Kinko's or Staples, 95 percent of the revenue produced by the industry is in commercial printing, packaging, and promotional products, most of these firms are only known by local industry insiders. Anywhere a person goes on the planet, they will encounter products from at least several print segments. What's more, developing economies are seeing increased marketing and more packaged goods as the middle class grows. This has driven certain segments within the printing industry to grow by as much as 20 percent year-over-year.
"We are really excited to unveil PrintMo.co. Keen has been working with print shops for the last couple of years and the consistent top request has always been to help them find more business," said Vitaly M. Golomb, Keen's CEO. "On the other hand, everyone knows the pain of finding the right printer and then having to deal with numerous emails to get even a simple set of business cards printed and delivered on time. We hope to make it easier for marketers to take advantage of all the great things print, promotional products, and apparel can do for their events and campaigns, while significantly simplifying the ordering process and communication required to deliver the products."
PrintMo.co launched today in to public beta with several dozen curated print service providers fulfilling orders in the San Francisco Bay Area. Keen plans to expand the service to other major markets soon. Prices and delivery times are very competitive and PrintMo.co takes a small commission on the orders it helps drive to print shops.