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Helloprint, the Dutch online print platform has secured additional multi-million euro from the second round of funding from current investors. The amount raised remains undisclosed. The company deploys three brand names: Helloprint, Drukzo, and iDrukker. Helloprint has been nominated as the second fastest-growing e-commerce company in the Netherlands and one of Deloitte’s Rising Stars.
The company closed its first round of funding of €3 million whereas the second round brought another multi-million euro with a group of investors, members of the management team and the Dutch tech investor Gert Jan Munneke.
Scaling operations and partnerships
Founded in 2013, the Rotterdam based online printing company has operations in Netherlands, Belgium, France, UK, and Spain. Helloprint plans to scale its operations to continental Europe and the UK, build the team and strengthen its platform with the funding. The investment will be used to expand the customer base as well as bring more producers on board as suppliers. Helloprint continues to partner with Bregal Unternehmerkapital, a multi-generational family fund, and Project A, an operational venture capitalist. The company has shown a growth of 3000% in past four years.
— Helloprint (@HelloprintUK) May 30, 2017
“Our growth evolves according to plan,” says Hans Scheffer, Chief Executive Officer of Helloprint. “We expect to cross the 50-million-euro revenue line in 2018, a growth rate of approximately 50% compared to last year, the fourth full year since our inception. Our business model has proven itself over the last years, and we see interesting things happening in the fast-growing online print market.”
Ideas are worthless, execution is everything
At the heart of Helloprint is an ‘unsexy’ idea of an online print platform. But, it’s being executed brilliantly. One might not think of ‘online printing’ or ‘cloud-based printing’ as the next ‘unicorn’ idea but here is Helloprint reported to have a global turnover of €30m in 2016.
There’s a method to this expansion both in revenues and the number of countries the company operates in. Rick Molenaar, CMO of Helloprint explains in one of the company’s blog posts (and a video presentation) that the team has ‘experimented’ their way to become a multi-million euro enterprise. Specifically, the company tested and iterated on two strategies which it calls:
- The slow and risk-free way. doing big market research and developing from it.
- The quick and dirty way. go live and start developing as quickly as possible.
It appears the company tested the ‘slow and risk-free’ method in the Spanish market whereas the ‘quick and dirty’ way in the UK market. Not many startups take such a grounded approach to internationalization where strategy and execution go hand-in-hand.
The company has spent a good part of the previous year in ‘recruiting’ suppliers (3rd party printing companies) to quadruple UK print base. It increased its UK suppliers base from 20 to above 100. This, in turn, has increased Helloprint’s ability to serve more clients.
Helloprint aims to directly compete with Vistaprint and Cimpress as it increases its global operational footprint.
There’s a lot that aspiring entrepreneurs from Europe can learn from Helloprint about internationalization, customer services, and business development. And we see there’s an uptick in the funding rounds of Netherlands-based startups with Ohpen, a cloud-based baking core banking platform that raised a $25M Series C round last week.