Moo, the London-based print company is buying Flavors.me, the personal identity site from web product incubator Hii Def. The move makes sense to connect the physical business cards that Moo is known for printing and the digital presences that Flavour provides for free or via subscription.
The purchase comes in the form of an all-cash deal that covers the website, brand, technology, IP and one member of staff.
The price remains undisclosed but Richard Moross, Founder and CEO of Moo confirmed that this was not a $1 billion dollar deal like Instagram. He also said that upon meeting with the team at Flavors.me and hearing that it might be available that the agreement was struck on the basis of shared values and design principles.
Moo is already making moves to integrate Flavors.me and with more than 100 people working at the firm now, it has plenty of hands on deck to work on developing its new property. “We’ve started putting members of our team on it and if we need more skills outside of that, then we’ll bring them in. We believe in this and that it’s key to our business plan so we’ll invest in this heavily.”
Hii Def are going to focus on Goodsie, its e-commerce solution that allows anyone to make a branded storefront.
It’s easy to presume that a print company would not have much of an interest in a web business, but part of Moo’s success is its ability to connect the virtual with the physical. In 2006, the company created its first partnership with Flickr, the photo sharing site. More recently it worked on integration with the Facebook Timeline.
Flavors.me has around 30 API relationships with other businesses. Moross says that Moo will continue to maintain these as well as ensuring a service for existing site users, noting, “If it’s working for the Flavors.me community today then it will work for them in the future.”
That said he still feels there is some work that can be done on the functionality of the sites. “We hope to bring in some design elements that Moo already has that will make it even easier for users to create a nice looking page. At the moment Flavors.me is quite a blank looking canvas when you start working with it. There’s lots of cool tools to make something very beautiful but you have to know what you’re doing. We want to make that easier for people to start making stuff.”
Flavors.me’s mobile presence is another draw for Moo where Moross wants to get to work. “We’re quite excited about what we can do with mobile,” he says. “It has a really nice mobile site but we think it can do a lot more than it currently does.”
The future of the business card is a website?
Moross noted that in the past he had stated that ‘The future of the business card might be a website’. “It sounds a bit silly,” he explains, “But in a way it makes a lot of sense. A website can be transferred to any variety of different channels, it’s instantly transportable and much more flexible.”
But while this purchase consolidates Moo’s digital presence, the company is still doing well in paper. “Our core business is growing rapidly. We’re in a space to take business cards in particular, forward as the market is growing by 20% a year. This is despite book and other printers going out of business,” says Moross.
Moo is one of the fastest growing print companies in the world. It printed 50 million business cards last year and is expecting this to rise to nearly 100 million in 2012. The company launched in 2006 with the aim of putting professional design tools for personal and professional cards in the hands of more people.
Image Credit: Kennymatic