DURHAM’S SPOONFLOWER BLOOMS TO TRIPLE-DIGIT GROWTH DURING COVID
Back in March, Spoonflower, an on-demand, digital printing company, reported 30% year-over-year growth in the first quarter.
By most standards, it was poised for a “nice” year going forward, says its CEO Michael Jones.
Then the pandemic hit.
“We saw a little bit of a slow down for a few days,” he recalls. “Then the business took off like a rocket ship.”
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Durham with an office in Berlin, Germany, Spoonflower prints custom fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap. It also serves as a global marketplace connecting makers and consumers with artists worldwide.
Stuck at home, people needed material for new home projects, or to make masks or blankets. The orders surged.
Within 30 days, the startup had to double the size of its factory to 50,000 square feet and added three new industrial printers – one flown all the way from Israel.
Nine months in, Spoonflower is now on pace to deliver “triple-digit” growth, year over year. It’s also tripled the size of its workforce, jumping to 350 employees worldwide. And it’s getting ready to move again, this time to an even bigger 100,000-square-foot factory.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Turbocharged efforts. Further intensifying its cloud computing efforts, IBM on Monday disclosed it is acquiring a Finnish firm in a deal that it says will “turbocharge” Big Blue’s capabilities. Read more.
ATLANTA – Entering an industry. Hollywood has taken note of Presso, as studios and wardrobe departments look to streamline the costume cleaning process. The team just raised a $1.6 million pre-seed round as it looks to scale to meet demand from the film industry. Get the deets.
AUSTIN – Dream deal. Acquisitions and entry into new verticals are now part of the expansion strategy for Austin-headquartered Aceable Inc. The education-technology startup announced a $50 million investment led by Silicon Valley private equity firm HGGC LLC. Tech it out.
TAMPA BAY – Strategic moves. Spectrio, a technology company that has acquired almost a dozen companies in the last two years, has now been acquired itself by New York-based private equity firm The Jordan Co. Learn more.
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GOOD NEWS ZOOMING YOUR WAY
Both Zoom and Google Meet have eliminated their length of call restrictions on free users for the holidays.
Zoom has dropped its usual 40-minute limit (until after New Year’s Day), and Google Meet, its 60 minute one (until March).
The companies recognized that with the Coronavirus rampant, many families are choosing to meet only virtually for holiday celebrations this year.
“Whether coming together on the final day of Hanukkah, celebrating Christmas, ringing in the New Year, or marking the last days of Kwanzaa, those connecting with friends and family won’t get cut short,” a Zoom spokesman told Reuters.
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