Nostalgia can often be a powerful motivator. Even when we have access to the latest technology, sometimes we yearn for customs of the past. The photo market is one such area and 36pics, a Dutch-founded photo-oriented startup founded by Mitch Maurits, launched earlier this year and hopes to find traction among people who long for a return to the days when creating rolls of film was more widespread and want to create physical photos to send to their family and friends.
The basic idea behind 36pics is that users can create albums of 36 photos (as many as you would fit on a physical roll) straight from their smartphones and have them shipped out to someon. There are already a few services in this market, including Germany-based CEWE, Spain-based Paper Lover, and California-based Kicksend. One of the main differences between the companies is the markets that they servce. 36pics and Paper Lover ship to every country in the European Union, while Kicksend only ships to a handful of countries around the globe.
The team behind 36pics participated in the program at Hub:raum, a Berlin-based incubator managed by telco giant Deutsche Telekom, in 2013. However, Mario Rothe tells me that they are bootstrapping at the moment.
Unlike a lot of startups, 36pics made its initial entry into the mobile sphere with an Android app. However, Rothe says that they are currently developing an iOS version. Rothe also says that they are working to develop partnerships with printers for the purpose of international expansion and to integrate additional features, but declined to elaborate on the latter.
The app is free to download, but the actual photos will set you back anywhere from 7.99 to 14.99, depending on the size of the photo and how many you order. 36pics only launched in May, so they have not had a lot of time to develop significant traction and claim just under 500 users at the point.