The internet has opened the world up to potential entrepreneurs, but for those lacking business savvy, this may not mean a whole. If you have a full-time blog or some other site that somehow focus on lifestyle, decoration, fashion, accessories etc., one option for monetization is to sell merchandise, maybe cards or posters, but it can be a bit of work to get things off the ground. Finnish startup Printmotor aims to help aspiring printers to ship products by designing and selling them, without worrying about the actual production aspect.
The service functions by allowing customers, whether beginning entrepreneurs or established printing stores, to download a pre-made PHP store and begin to ship product (with some setup help from a software engineer or programmer). One of the cool parts is that it is open-source, so it can be modified based on the user’s needs and desires. From there, the business owner can sell business cards, mugs, posters, calendars, phone covers, shirts, greeting cards, postcards, flyers, or envelopes. CEO Aku Mutanen tells me that there are no fees on setup and that Printmotor charges based on the amount of products that customers sell to their own buyers.
Printmotor just launched last week, but the service has been under construction for a few years now. Mutanen tells me that they conceived of the service in 2012 after contemplating the future of the printing industry. Since last November, they have been running a private beta with 3 companies, but have now added a few more as customers. Mutanen says that they have produced goods for thousands of end-users.
Mutanen tells me that they have bootstrapped to this point, as they have been able to get by with money from the founders. However, they are looking to raise external investment in the near future. And it will not come a moment too soon, as Mutanen says that the company has big ambitions and intends to expand on all fronts this year. Printmotor aims to move into new markets, going so far as to opening a production facility outside of Finland to move closer to new customers, and to expand their sales efforts.