Printify, a new marketplace for custom printing, raises $1 million seed

Printify, a startup all the way from Riga, Latvia, has raised $1 million in seed funding led by Google AdSense pioneer Gokul Rajaram as it looks to expand its services in the U.S. and build out its team in Latvia.

Today, roughly 50,000 e-commerce stores use Printify’s services for printing-on-demand, according to the company.

Together with Lumi, which can handle packaging for consumer-facing startups, Printify is making the notion of becoming a brand as seamless as possible by taking much of a vendor’s legwork out of the equation.

The company keeps its customers’ billing information on file and links with the back-end ordering system of almost any e-commerce platform.

When an order comes in, Printify gets an API notification to begin working on a product. The company then sends print-ready files to an on-demand manufacturer that can print a design and ship a product within 24 hours.

Printify founder James Berdigans came up with the idea for the company after starting a business making accessories for Apple products.

“We wanted to print custom phone cases and we thought we’d find an on-demand manufacturer and it would be easy,” says Berdigans. That’s when Printify was born.

The company first integrated through Shopify and began to see some traction in November 2015, but because the company didn’t own its own manufacturing, quality became a concern.

In 2016, Berdigans pivoted to the marketplace model because he saw demand coming from a growing number of small business owners like himself that needed access to a selection of quality printing houses.

New direct-to-garment printing and digital printing on t-shirts is going to grow very rapidly over the next few years, according to Berdigans.

A graduate from the 500 Startups accelerator program, the company is already profitable and hoping to capitalize on its success with this new funding to expand its engineering team.

“In just two years, Printify has become profitable and is growing at a rapid pace. With this
investment, we plan to double our Riga team in 2018. That will create at least 30 new jobs,
most of which will be in programming, design, and customer support,” said Printify co-founder
Artis Kehris in a statement.