Dutch online print platform Helloprint received their first big investment today. For a minority stake, a group of investors and Dutch tech investor Gert Jan Munneke (Traffic4U) pour three million euros in the Rotterdam-based company. Up until now, the company has been entirely funded by the founders themselves – let’s just hope they didn’t print the money themselves.
The investment illustrates that Helloprint is one of the fastest growing startups that is currently active in The Netherlands. The organization has grown by 3000% in the past three years and is expected to achieve revenues of approximately 30 million euros in 2016. At the beginning of this year, the company was nominated as the second fastest-growing e-commerce company in the Netherlands and one of Deloitte’s Rising Stars.
The startups aims to devote this newly acquired capital purely to fueling growth and expansion, primarily to take on the likes of Vistaprint, current global market leader in the online printing industry with a whopping 1.2 billion dollar revenue. The founder aimed at a revenue of 100 million by 2019, as Printmedianieuws reported quite recently.
It’s clear that the ambitions are big. While both companies operate in the same market (DIY online printing for small and medium-sized enterprises), Helloprint doesn’t actually own their own printing production facilities. This means that Helloprint’s platform serves as a marketplace for printing inventory, i.e. the company can leverage the best price offer from production facilities as it optimizes distribution.
CEO Hans Scheffer explains that his decision to go for the likes of Munneke c.s. was motivated entirely by qualitative reasons:
We are regularly approached by parties that would like to have a stake in Helloprint, but up until now we hadn’t found the right one. By no means were we, or are we, looking for an investor that merely wants to inject money into Helloprint – considering we can finance our own growth independently. We were looking for an investor with entrepreneurial vision and spirit, who contributes expertise, knows what it’s like to go through a period of enormous growth and who, above all, is very familiar with the online media landscape. That’s exactly the kind of entrepreneurial investor that Gert Jan [Munneke] is.
The top reason for me to invest in Helloprint is its exceptional team. As an investor, I’ve come across all kinds of companies, but with Helloprint, I found a rare combination of energy, talent and execution. In an online world where nothing is unique and anything that succeeds is immediately copied, the most important thing of all is that you ultimately have the best team and that’s what Helloprint has, without a doubt. That’s also why I am convinced that Helloprint will more than achieve its international ambitions.