YPP to launch personalisation service with £1m funding

By Rhys Handley, Monday 25 February 2019

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YPP Group is set to launch its new licensed personalised merchandise business following a £1m investment from a local business fund.

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YPP is establishing Custom Gifts at a time when "personalisation is growing faster than ever"

Based in Lincoln, YPP is the owner of textile print firm Your Print Partner and the group’s board will now also oversee the separate limited company Custom Gifts, which is set to launch in mid-March.

The group was approached by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) regarding potential investment around nine months ago and YPP proceeded to submit a business plan application in order to secure the funds. Around the same time, YPP withdrew a crowdfunding campaign from the website Crowdcube that, according to group chief executive Stuart Maclaren, did not suit its business model.

YPP has used the money from MEIF to develop Custom Gifts’ bespoke web-to-print platform, while also creating seven new jobs in its sales and design teams, as well as a further 10 to be created in its production department to accommodate a new 24-hour schedule.

Maclaren said: “Over the coming weeks we will launch something we have been building for around six months. It is our own software which makes it a unique offering in the market and the best possible for customers.

“With the help of MEIF, the YPP Group is growing at a massive rate and, after a long-winded process, we are now ready to move forward with new services and new staff.

“I hope over the next year we will become an even stronger presence in the market, especially as Custom Gifts takes us into B2C. I believe we have invested our money correctly in enhancing the user experience as personalisation is growing faster than ever. We are now looking at a very healthy company that is ready to grow.”

Alongside the launch, YPP Group has also made some additions to its board with the promotion of Chris Cheeseman to group creative director and the introduction of Jordan Lavender, from the Foresight Group investment company, as investor director.

Setting sights on the future, Maclaren said he hoped to see 30% overall growth at the £3.4m-turnover YPP Group, as well as anticipating that Custom Gifts will bring in £1m in its first year.

YPP Group’s technology portfolio, which serves Your Print Partner’s production and will serve half of Custom Gifts’ production alongside outsourced services, includes a number of wide-format machines from Mimaki, as well as a Kongsberg C60 cutter and a Transmatic oven.

Currently working on circa 3,000sqm floorspace, YPP Group has now submitted plans for an extension that could add up to 1,500sqm to the plant. Alongside Your Print Partner and Custom Gifts, YPP Group also oversees the Santa Sacks Co. and Your Promo Partner brands.

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