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Rocket Internet-backed Printvenue claims to cross 20K orders in 3 months; Will low-key marketing hamper growth?

Gurgaon-based printing solutions startup Printvenue, which offers a suite of online services for business printing and individual requirements, claims to have crossed the 20,000 orders mark within three months of its launch. Backed by the German investor Rocket Internet Ventures, Printvenue was set up in July 2012 and claims to be growing at a rate of around 50-75 per cent month on month.

"Recently, we have crossed the 300 orders-a-day mark and today, we have complete 20,000 cumulative orders since our launch," said Saurabh Kochhar, co-founder and MD of Printvenue.

Although it started as a printing solutions portal, Printvenue has expanded into a lot of product categories within a short span. More than 20 products are featured on the portal, such as fridge magnets, mugs, stamps, notepads, stationery items and so on. Kochhar told Techcircle.in that the company would be looking to offer 50-plus products by year-end with thousands of options within the categories. Currently, it is focusing on both B2B and B2C markets (mainly SoHo professionals), but has plans to target a broader B2C segment who will be the end consumer in near future.

The startup follows a combined business model, printing some orders in-house and outsourcing others.

Unlike other Rocket-backed startups, Printvenue has been slightly low key in terms of marketing. The only major marketing initiatives include mailers and Google ads. This is not exactly in tune with Rocket Internet's aggressive marketing strategy, but Kochhar has an explanation.

"We don't have a budget for marketing yet as we wanted to find out whether there is an opportunity for this kind of service. Before we pump in millions for marketing, we have to establish the service," he said.

Currently a 35-strong company, Printvenue again shows the typical characteristics of a Rocket-funded company. The co-founders are not CEOs but MDs – a concept that's somewhat novel in the Indian context. Usually, it is an entrepreneur who takes his/her business idea to investors and runs the show. But it seems to be a reverse scenario here and Rocket Internet seems to have found an 'entrepreneur' to run its venture.

But is there a market opportunity for this niche business? Recently, another such company called Printbindaas raised angel funding from Manoj Kumar Swain, CEO of Morgan Stanley India, Primary Dealer Pvt Ltd and Rajesh Garg, AVP (business development & technology) at Ireo Management Pvt Ltd. Other key players are Printo which is backed by Sequoia Capital, Delhi-based Printbazaar which also has printing solutions for home parties, gifting and personal use, and NASDAQ-listed Vistaprint which entered the Indian market by acquiring online marketing solutions provider Printbell. Watch this space for more information on such startups

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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