For a writer, nothing beats the romance of seeing your work in high-quality print. No screen can compete with the silky feel of the paper, an excess of glossy photographs and that special smell of a new page.
Peecho, which just raised $750,000, lets visitors to a website or application transform pixels into print by clicking on its embedded print button. The print button connects to a cloud of print facilities all over to world which can produce any chosen magazine, photo album, poster or book.
Founders Martijn Groot and Sander Nagtegaal met at photo book printers AlbumPrinter which ran huge printing facilities churning out 16,000 photo books a day, each one different. “We saw that people were telling their own story in digital media,” says Groot, “but still wanted physical products.”
Most online content is not print ready. “PDF doesn’t have a spine,” says Groot. There is a bewildering range of digital publishing file formats. This is the reason that there are plenty of sites that let you print a photo album or maybe order a magazine on demand, but most services only print one type of product via a single print facility.
Peecho connects to a cloud print network of specialised printing facilities all over the world and aggregates orders from different customers. Most print facilities currently have excess capacity and Peecho can connect a new facility within 2 weeks, a process that would formerly would have taken months. The company takes a markup of each order on top of the wholesale printing price and also provides a white-label solution.
Most of the sites and applications which currently use the print button have never had print products as part of their offerings. Peecho will launch a service in February with digital publishing platfom Issuu, which has 50 million readers and adds 201,000 new titles every month. A visitor will be able to choose to print a magazine, paperback or hardback in color or black and white.
Only about 5 percent of Issuu’s content is currently available in print. “A lot of titles are never published in print because the volume isn’t large enough,” says Groot. That makes Peecho the long tail of print publishing, or as Groot calls it, “professional printing for the masses.”
On-demand printing is still more expensive than off-the-shelf. A supermarket magazine which costs $5 might cost $7 dollars to print on demand but Groot expects prices to drop as volume increases. While Peecho’s customers are still mainly digital publishers, social media services like Walnuts, which creates books based on Facebook content, are increasingly offering print products.
Groot claims that while there are competitors in different sectors, for example Fotomoto to print photographs for professional photographers, no other company covers multiple print formats and facilities.
Peecho’s new funding comes from Peak Capital and DHG Holding, B.V. and will mainly be spent on expanding the company’s global sales force and scaling up the business. The company is based in Amsterdam, has 4 employees and was founded in 2010.