PrintOnPack.com, the soft packaging marketplace startup, has raised 450,000 EUR from SuperHero Capital to reform the industry which largely still functions manually, relying on in-person sales and spreadsheets for pricing calculations.
The industry is technically complex and lacks transparency, with research showing that pricing offers for an identical order can vary on average by 88% and in extreme cases can be more than sixfold among competitors. PrintOnPack.com has onboarded over 120 soft packaging providers to give consumers transparent information about where they can produce and for what prices, and receive offers without picking up the phone. In just over a year, PrintOnPack.com has processed more than 500 requests from 10 countries and helped to order over 3 million packages.
The startup idea came from veteran of the packaging industry, Ivars Sudmalis. After witnessing the lack of transparency in this space, the amount of manual work that goes into offer calculations, as well how cumbersome it is to find a packaging provider, Ivars saw an opportunity for improvement. In 2020, together with co-founders Ingars Zagorskis and Ivars Mirošnikovs, they embarked on developing a user-friendly platform for comparing and ordering soft packaging.
“Right now, printing services are discovered through trade shows, prices are calculated in spreadsheets, and orders co-ordinated through phone calls. Because of the hassle to request an offer, businesses rarely change their packaging producer, even though prices and materials may be superior elsewhere. We're making it easier to get information, and make the best choice for your business, and for the environment.” - Ingars Zagorskis, Co-founder and CEO of PrintOnPack.com
PrintOnPack.com's platform makes it possible to search for sustainable packaging materials, such as recycled or biodegradable packaging. So far, over 50% of the platform's requests have been for sustainable packaging. The platform hopes to educate clients on the full sustainability cycle of soft-packaged goods, and how, contrary to popular belief, it can be the more environmentally friendly choice based on carbon footprint.
The startup aims to extend the shift to sustainable practices to manufacturers themselves. Through communicating the demand for eco-friendly packaging to the providers, various companies are already looking into implementing sustainable options to appease the startup clientele’s requests. PrintOnPack.com believes this is only the beginning, and hopes to lead the sustainable packaging movement.
The investment was secured from Finland-based SuperHero Capital. They invest in Finnish and Baltic startups, are industry-agnostic, and this is the fund's first investment in a Latvian business.
“One thing we look for at SuperHero Capital is superheroes. Those are teams with some superpower, like special industry know-how. PrintOnPack.com really know their playing field, and since so many processes are still done manually, it's clear that it's ripe for disruption.” - Ernests Stals, SuperHero Capital
Currently, PrintOnPack.com services the European market, with printing providers based across Europe, CIS countries and Asia. By the end of the year they plan to grow the team to 40 people, develop their platform, and increase the order volumes and revenue.