Malaysian startup Printcious aims to become ASEAN version of Zazzle

View of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at night

Aiming to become Asean’s version of online designer’s marketplace Zazzle or Society6, Malaysian startup Printcious Gifts Sdn Bhd is set to expand to other countries in this region — particularly, Indonesia and Philippines in 2017 and later venturing into Australia, US and the UK.

A company founded in October 2015 by two brothers Vincent Tong and Henry Tong targets the personalised gifting service segment in Malaysia and Singapore and runs a large — do-it-yourself (DIY) printing supplier which clocked sales revenue worth MYR1.4 million in 2016.

Having recieved a seed funding from government-linked Cradle’s Investment Programme (CIP 500), the company is now aiming to spend more marketing fee on online and offline campaigns for brand awareness and drive traffic to printcious.com for sales. It, however, is not actively considering a funding from venture capital firms at the moment.

“We have talked to a few VCs about fund raising. However, we believe that the timing is not yet optimum at the moment. We believe that we should self-fund the development & growth of our company until it has reached a certain tangible traction. Only then we may consider to raise fund to speed-up our growth towards Asean countries and countries worldwide if there is a great strategy partnership with potential VC,” Printcious co-founder Vincent Tong told DEALSTREETASIA in an interview recently.

Without any significant large funding from an VC yet, the average per month orders now is 1000 with 20 per cent of the orders from B2B who order in bulk such as corporate and government agencies. Another 80 per cent orders come from B2C and the average basket value is at MYR80.

The company offers an online design tool to customise their gifts with photo, text or design and also hosts a designer marketplace that allows designers to sell their artworks online and earn at least 30 per cent royalty fee out of every sold item. Though, currently, the larger portion of income is from the gift printing service, Vincent said.

Printcious believes it can grow its revenue by another 50 per cent this year and next year as they educate the market about customised gifts.

“Our revenue has grown from 4 figures a month to 6 figures a month now. We believe the growth can be even better once Google has indexed most of the pages that are bringing free traffic to our website,” Vincent noted.

In terms of product ranges, the company is hoping to increase the variety in product categories from 16 to 30 by the end of 2017. Moreover, the products would have more customising options from different printing technology such as embroidery on towel as well as engraving on pen & wood.

“Hence, we are always looking for partnerships from different gift printers that are interested in joining us,” he noted.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.