Gelato gains backing for global expansion

Jo Francis
Monday, August 23, 2021

Hyper local printing platform Gelato has raised $240m (£175m) to boost its worldwide expansion plans.

Gelato: market for customised products will grow to $320bn by 2025
Gelato: market for customised products will grow to $320bn by 2025

The Norway-headquartered business works with print-on-demand partners at more than 100 locations, in 33 countries including the UK. 

By connecting to the Gelato platform creators can print and ship locally, avoiding the need for stock holding and reducing carbon emissions through shorter shipping distances. 

Customers include Canva, Your Film Poster and Sportymaps.

The new funding round was led by venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners, based in New York, with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Existing investors including Dawn Capital, Gelato chairman John Hepburn, SEB Pension Fund, and Tellef Thorleifsson the CEO of Norfund also took part. 

Gelato plans to speed up its growth in the USA and Asia. 

Last year Gelato’s parent company had sales of €59.3m (£50.8m), up 17.3% on 2019, and halved its operating losses to €7.8m. The firm said that sales grew 120% in Q2 2021, while its API business was up 320% year-on-year.

Henrik Müller-Hansen, CEO and founder of Gelato, said the business was empowering ecommerce sellers and the “creator economy” to bring customised products to local markets “in a way that is much more cost-effective and sustainable”.

“Through software that connects to idle production capacity, our platform is taking an active part in transforming global manufacturing as we know it. As ecommerce continues to grow, so will our local production partners and their ability to create jobs in their local communities.”

Müller-Hansen said each print partner was carefully selected, “not based upon price but on production excellence and professionalism”.

“Over the years of working closely with our print partners, we have also delivered technology that makes them more efficient. They, in turn, have provided us with printing insights that fuel our technology.”

Gelato believes the worldwide market for customised products will grow from $230bn to more than $320bn by 2025.

The fresh funding values the business at €1.05bn, giving it the status of a technology ‘unicorn’ company. 

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