On the face of it, Berlin-based ezeep is a similar offering to the likes of Google Cloud Print, allowing users to print documents from iOS and Android devices, or from a Web browser. Files can be sent to any printer connected to a computer running the accompanying desktop app.
However, perhaps the most interesting dimension here – and what sets ezeep apart from the competition – is that users will soon be able to offer their printer up to anyone who wants to use it, and charge them for printing. The company is testing this with a limited number of locations such as co-working spaces. The idea of being able to find a printer as easily as you can find a WiFi hotspot is certainly a tantalising one.
Although the funding amount hasn’t been disclosed, the new capital from Mangrove will be used to help scale the service. The company is currently targeting enterprise customers, in order to learn how customers use the service at scale. However, consumers will be able to sign up next year. The new cash follows on from a €500,000 ($647,000) seed round in October last year.
Although the company won’t say how many customers it has signed up yet, the first that it’s disclosing is BSKyB-owned WiFi provider The Cloud, which operates a network of hotspots across the UK, Germany and the Nordics. While The Cloud is only a customer for now, it’s easy to see how that relationship could evolve into a compelling service for businesses and consumers alike.
While cloud printing may seem more like a feature than a business in itself, ezeep shows that your office printer could be far more valuable to you than you think.
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