Nigerian digital printing startup Printivo has closed a six-figure funding round from early-stage technology venture capital firm EchoVC Partners, which it plans to use to expand its product range, grow its staff, accelerate customer acquisition and scale the business.
Launched last year, Printivo aims to help Nigerian startups and SMEs print business and marketing materials with ease, and hopes to grow Nigeria’s US$200 million print market, which has until now had no credible online presence.
The company provides the only fully automated online print service for over 3,000 customers, providing local and international businesses with corporate stock collateral, such as business cards, letterheads and notepads. It has seen year-on-year growth of 200 per cent since its launch.
“Securing institutional seed financing means we can accelerate the growth of our online print services and community platform and achieve the ambitious targets we have set for ourselves, as we transform an industry that has, until now, lacked digital infrastructure, investment and innovation,” said Olu’yomi Ojo, Printivo co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO).
“We can now transition print from bricks and mortar ‘mom-and-pop’ stores that struggle to scale and meet quality requirements, to online ordering and direct delivery, while enabling job creation and distribution. We are in the process of removing the friction for companies that want access to great design, transparent pricing, high quality products and fast turnaround on orders. Simple, yes, but something local printers have historically been unable to provide.”
Ojo said in EchoVC Partners the startup had found an investor and partner which has “complete understanding” in growing and scaling e-commerce businesses, and sees the “enormous growth opportunity” Africa’s print industry presents.
Printivo’s revenues are growing at 50 per cent quarter-over-quarter, with the startup having secured contracts with leading global brands operating in Nigeria, including Google, Uber, Samsung, DHL and Etisalat. It has serviced over 3,000 customers and is currently on track to fulfilling 1,000 orders per month.
It hopes to become the the primary print outsourcing partner to the 17 million active Nigerian SMEs, eventually becoming the pan-African e-print platform of choice.
“The lightning speed at which Printivo has changed Nigerian SMEs’ print purchasing habits and built a customer base that runs into the thousands is impressive, and was a key driver in our decision to invest,” said Wale Ayeni, investment director at EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund.
“EchoVC sees print in Africa as one of the continent’s ‘iceberg micro-economies’, a below-radar but very large and viable industry with enormous scope for growth. The team’s homegrown expertise and innate understanding of the market, their commitment to great design and innovation in print, their ability to grow long lasting customer relationships and their focus on customer service equates to them being best placed to lead the digital printing revolution on the continent.”