Amazon To Dabble More in Customization?

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I heard from two independent sources this morning that Amazon, eager to expand their customized product suite after their 2005 acquisition of CustomFlix, is in acquisition discussions with young Seattle-based startup ImageKind.

ImageKind, a 14 person company launched just last August, is a site where artists can upload their work and sell custom framed prints to others. Like CafePress and Zazzle, ImageKind also does a brisk business in one-offs to people who want to upload an image and get a single print. Feedback from the artist community has been very positive about ImageKind to date.

I spoke to the President of ImageKind, Kevin Saliba, who denies the rumor. He says that the company has been in talks with a number of parties around their Series A round of financing, including “large online retailers,” but that the discussions are around an investment, not an acquisition.

ImageKind occupies a niche between current offerings by Art.com and those of Zazzle and CafePress. Art.com is rumored to be soon launching a more customizable product similar to what ImageKind offers today.

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