Plum Print Raises A Million To Turn Kids’ Artwork Into Custom Photo Books


Image Credits:

A startup offering a solution for parents with small children who want a way to easily save and store their kids’ artwork, Plum Print, has raised a million-dollar seed round to continue to grow its business and expand into new products. The company today offers a handful of photo books it puts together on parents’ behalf, after first sending out a postage-paid box that parents fill with any art, school work, or even 3D creations, like pottery or figurines, then ship back to Plum Print.

The round, which closed a couple of weeks ago, was led by Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, and also includes a number of angel investors, many from the Asheville, N.C., area where Plum Print’s production headquarters is based.

The idea for Plum Print came from Carolyn Lanzetta, previously an equity trader at JP Morgan. As a mom herself, she, like many others, found herself “drowning in artwork,” she says. Lanzetta asked other parents how they handled the problem, but no one really had a good answer. So she ended up photographing her child’s art and putting together a custom book using professional tools like Photoshop and InDesign.

Soon, friends of hers were asking if she’d make them a book, too, for their own kids’ art, and the small business was born.

Initially, Lanzetta says she tried replicating the process via a mobile app, but found the quality of the photos was poor and the resulting product didn’t have the right feel.


It’s also worth noting there are already a number of apps like this on the market, including Canvsly, Keepy and ArtKive, for example. None have grown to include massive customer bases, though. One of the issues with using an app – at least from personal experience – is that it takes too much time to sort through the piles of art, then photograph, not to mention annotate, each one.

It becomes easier to just throw your favorites in a box, and trash the rest.

Plum Print, however, offers a different type of solution. Instead of having parents photograph their own kids’ art, the company does it for you. And the box you normally throw the art into is replaced by the “Plum Print parcel,” which is a good-sized postage-paid box that you fill up, then send back to the company when you’re ready to produce your book.

A week after you ship the parcel back, parents are sent a book proof via email which they can edit or approve. Then, another week later, they’ll have their custom book shipped to their door. (Parents can request the art is returned, too, if they choose).


The e-commerce site for Plum Print, which is also co-founded by Meg Ragland, previously an editor at Women’s Day and Family Circle Magazines, went online in 2012 in order to test the market. The co-founders didn’t advertise their site for some time, but generated orders through word-of-mouth referrals. To date, Plum Print has shipped 2,700 books, which start at $85 for a softcover edition, then go up to $130 or $175 for the small and large hardcovers, respectively.

Parents can include as few or as many items of artwork as they want in their box. One of the larger, coffee table books that Plum Print produced, for example, featured 800-some photos of art.

The company found that parents who use the site are likely to return. Seventy percent of the company’s 2013 customers came back the following year to reorder, for instance. On average, however, parents usually only order once per year, likely due to the costs involved. This year, Plum Print plans to change that with a new product line.


The company in Q2 will allow parents to purchase other photo gifts at different price points, including things like calendars, notecards, iPhone cases and more. To build out its tech platform, Plum Print has brought on a former senior Google engineer, thanks to the new funding.

Plum Print will also expand its brand ambassador program, which involves partnering with local schools and PTAs, who can share in the proceeds of book sales as a low-effort fundraising activity. Today, Plum Print currently partners with schools in 10 states and shares, on average, 10 percent of sales.

Longer-term, Plum Print has plans to introduce a SaaS (software-as-a-service) style offering, too, but Lanzetta didn’t want to share details on that just yet. “It’s definitely on the roadmap – tt’s related to our further integration into schools,” she hints.

Try Plum Print here.

More TechCrunch

The spam reached Bluesky by first crossing over two other decentralized networks: Mastodon and Nostr.

The ‘vote Trump’ spam that hit Bluesky in May came from decentralized rival Nostr

Welcome to TechCrunch Fintech! This week, we’re looking at the continued fallout from Synapse’s bankruptcy, how Layer wants to disrupt SMB accounting, and much more! To get a roundup of…

There’s a real appetite for a fintech alternative to QuickBooks

The company is hoping to produce electricity at $13 per megawatt hour, which would be more than 50% cheaper than traditional onshore wind.

Bill Gates-backed wind startup AirLoom is raising $12M, filings reveal

Generative AI makes stuff up. It can be biased. Sometimes it spits out toxic text. So can it be “safe”? Rick Caccia, the CEO of WitnessAI, believes it can. “Securing…

WitnessAI is building guardrails for generative AI models

It’s not often that you hear about a seed round above $10 million. H, a startup based in Paris and previously known as Holistic AI, has announced a $220 million…

French AI startup H raises $220M seed round

Hey there, Series A to B startups with $35 million or less in funding — we’ve got an exciting opportunity that’s tailor-made for your growth journey! If you’re looking to…

Boost your startup’s growth with a ScaleUp package at TC Disrupt 2024

TikTok is pulling out all the stops to prevent its impending ban in the United States. Aside from initiating legal challenges against the government, that means shaping up its public…

As a U.S. ban looms, TikTok announces a $1M program for socially driven creators

Microsoft wants to put its Copilot everywhere. It’s only a matter of time before Microsoft renames its annual Build developer conference to Microsoft Copilot. Hopefully, some of those upcoming events…

Microsoft’s Power Automate no-code platform adds AI flows

Build is Microsoft’s largest developer conference and of course, it’s all about AI this year. So it’s no surprise that GitHub’s Copilot, GitHub’s “AI pair programming tool,” is taking center…

GitHub Copilot gets extensions

Microsoft wants to make its brand of generative AI more useful for teams — specifically teams across corporations and large enterprise organizations. This morning at its annual Build dev conference,…

Microsoft intros a Copilot for teams

Microsoft’s big focus at this year’s Build conference is generative AI. And to that end, the tech giant announced a series of updates to its platforms for building generative AI-powered…

Microsoft upgrades its AI app-building platforms

The U.K.’s data protection watchdog has closed an almost year-long investigation of Snap’s AI chatbot, My AI — saying it’s satisfied the social media firm has addressed concerns about risks…

UK data protection watchdog ends privacy probe of Snap’s GenAI chatbot, but warns industry

U.S. cell carrier Patriot Mobile experienced a data breach that included subscribers’ personal information, including full names, email addresses, home ZIP codes and account PINs, TechCrunch has learned. Patriot Mobile,…

Conservative cell carrier Patriot Mobile hit by data breach

It’s been three years since Spotify acquired live audio startup Betty Labs, and yet the music streaming service isn’t leveraging the technology to its fullest potential — at least not…

Spotify’s ‘Listening Party’ feature falls short of expectations

Alchemist Accelerator has a new pile of AI-forward companies demoing their wares today, if you care to watch, and the program itself is making some international moves into Tokyo and…

Alchemist’s latest batch puts AI to work as accelerator expands to Tokyo, Doha

“Late Pledge” allows campaign creators to continue collecting money even after the campaign has closed.

Kickstarter now lets you pledge after a campaign closes

Stack AI’s co-founders, Antoni Rosinol and Bernardo Aceituno, were PhD students at MIT wrapping up their degrees in 2022 just as large language models were becoming more mainstream. ChatGPT would…

Stack AI wants to make it easier to build AI-fueled workflows

Pinecone, the vector database startup founded by Edo Liberty, the former head of Amazon’s AI Labs, has long been at the forefront of helping businesses augment large language models (LLMs)…

Pinecone launches its serverless vector database out of preview

Young geothermal energy wells can be like budding prodigies, each brimming with potential to outshine their peers. But like people, most decline with age. In California, for example, the amount…

Special mud helps XGS Energy get more power out of geothermal wells

Featured Article

Sonos finally made some headphones

The market play is clear from the outset: The $449 headphones are firmly targeted at an audience that would otherwise be purchasing the Bose QC Ultra or Apple AirPods Max.

5 hours ago
Sonos finally made some headphones

Adobe says the feature is up to the task, regardless of how complex of a background the object is set against.

Adobe brings Firefly AI-powered Generative Remove to Lightroom

All cars suffer when the mercury drops, but electric vehicles suffer more than most as heaters draw more power and batteries charge more slowly as the liquid electrolyte inside thickens.…

Porsche Ventures invests in battery startup South 8 to boost cold-weather EV performance

Scale AI has raised a $1 billion Series F round from a slew of big-name institutional and corporate investors including Amazon and Meta.

Data-labeling startup Scale AI raises $1B as valuation doubles to $13.8B

The new coalition, Tech Against Scams, will work together to find ways to fight back against the tools used by scammers and to better educate the public against financial scams.

Meta, Match, Coinbase and others team up to fight online fraud and crypto scams

It’s a wrap: European Union lawmakers have given the final approval to set up the bloc’s flagship, risk-based regulations for artificial intelligence.

EU Council gives final nod to set up risk-based regulations for AI

London-based fintech Vitesse has closed a $93 million Series C round of funding led by investment giant KKR.

Vitesse, a payments and treasury management platform for insurers, raises $93M to fuel US expansion

Zen Educate, an online marketplace that connects schools with teachers, has raised $37 million in a Series B round of funding. The raise comes amid a growing teacher shortage crisis…

Zen Educate raises $37M and acquires Aquinas Education as it tries to address the teacher shortage

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

A new self-driving truck — manufactured by Volvo and loaded with autonomous vehicle tech developed by Aurora Innovation — could be on public highways as early as this summer.  The…

Aurora and Volvo unveil self-driving truck designed for a driverless future

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €285M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road