Portugal’s leading online print company 360 Onlineprint is looking for production partners in the UK to help it expand into this country. This follows a funding round that has raised £15 million for the expansion initially beyond the Iberian peninsula and countries where it currently operates into northern Europe, with the UK identified as a key opportunity.
The company can already serve UK SME customers will all kinds of promotional and marketing print and printed items from facilities in Portugal through a website that was launched last month. But it now wants to link up with UK printers to bring down turnaround times and hit the pricing levels it wants to achieve.
A spokeswoman explains that 360 Onlineprint aims to match a lower price that a customer might find for the same product. And this product can start with business cards, ranging through banners and exhibition displays into T-shirts and promotional goods. The company is increasing the scope to offer 20,000 products through its website. It wants to boost this number quickly adding printed bags, labels and packaging.
“A customer can provide us with a sample of an image or logo they want to use and we can include it as digital artwork to show what it will look like, so take away the risk of a purchase,” she says. “And we are trying to maintain competitive prices, so if you find something cheaper, contact 360 Onlineprint and we will see if we can match the price for the same product.”
First the company needs to establish a network of production partners. Its business model is based on tapping into unused capacity that printers have and feeding through jobs that have been accumulated through the portals.
The company started in 2013, founded by Sergio Vieira and Jorge Correia from the Instituto Universitario de Lisboa. They noticed that by batching the thesis documents from a number of students the price per copy would fall dramatically. What would work for this type of document would also be effective for other printed products.
The company has created its own software and employs 170. It processes around 4,500 orders a day.
This has led to the success in attracting €18 million in a second round of fund raising, one of the largest in Portuguese history. It will be used to increase head count by a further 100 staff. Currently one in three is engaged in software development with augmented reality and artificial intelligence on the development agenda.
360 Onlineprint wants to have first UK partnership arrangements, negotiated, tested and ready to roll before the end of the year. Ahead of that there will be a negotiations on pricing and technology and work to ensure that any partner can match quality and SLA targets set by the business.
By Gareth Ward
360 Online wants to emulate the success it has enjoyed in Portugal in other markets, including the UK where an English website has recently opened. The company plans to spend the next few months negotiating contracts with potential production partners.