2015 has been a year in which we have far exceeded our own expectations.
We set out to revolutionise packaging and to expand into North America, believing the web-to-print market to be five times bigger than in the UK, where our software is used by hundreds of online retailers.
Users of our software include printers serving many industries. We have helped them either to expand their digital operations and make them more flexible and efficient, or to embrace this world for the first time by setting up a whole new web-to-print arm of their business.
At the start of 2015, we aimed for what we thought was a realistic growth of about 60 per cent – and, as we write, we have exceeded the 100 per cent mark.
This year we have positioned ourselves as collaborative partners, split one of our products into two distinct uses, launched a cross media marketing solution and not only integrated our software into several management information systems but also had a major American photographic company integrate into our software, too.
Back in January, one of our clients, Gary Keens, the managing director of AskPrint, demonstrated MegaEdit to The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers Convention, to rave reviews.
“It’s the world’s best online book building software,” declared Gary Keens of the technology that powers his company’s personalised print franchise.
That was music to our ears, given that we had huge plans to expand abroad, particularly via North America.
We also began the process of splitting MegaEdit into two distinct strands, one as photobook & photo gift software but the other as a dynamic design tool with personalisation at its heart.
We knew our software, principally Catfish and MegaEdit, could make print slicker, quicker and more cost effective for many industries and market sectors, not just in the UK but across the world.
The first of several trips across The Pond to major international trade shows was to the Dscoop Conference in Washington in March.
Douglas Gibson, Infigo’s Managing Director, said at the time: “When we were there, people asked ‘why have you come all this way’? The answer is simple. We’ve proved there is nothing else like Catfish on the market – and that’s the type of feedback we are getting from our customers who serve a wide range of industries.”
Heading back to North America a month later for Graphics Canada in Toronto, we announced a deal with Signature Print-It, based in Regina. They are a leading print company which uses state of the art technologies capable of achieving high quality, consistent colour resolutions.
Our partnership approach and the capabilities of Catfish were key to that deal, they told us.
In May we rolled the dice and launched a new product – and where better to do that than Las Vegas? The PODi AppForum proved the perfect platform to raise the curtain on Symphony, a tool for cross media marketing across multi-channels such as email, SMS, social media and calendars all at once.
Meanwhile, we celebrated our fifth birthday by being shortlisted in Virgin’s Pitch to Rich competition to win a portion of a £1million marketing prize pot for companies to grow their business.
In August, a huge amount of work from previous exhibitions came together at once as the team planned for September’s Graph Expo in Chicago.
Five deals to use Infigo’s software were signed by American companies in a week, a partnership was signed with Page Technology Group for sales and technical support for our software and we set up an office in Miami, Florida. Those new clients came from the education, communication and printing sectors, while a major photographic company agreed to become an integrated option in MegaEdit, a turnaround from us integrating into other companies’ MIS systems.
Meanwhile, our target to modernise the packaging industry was paying off with fabulous results.
We had long believed that this industry was ripe for revolution, having been slow to use web-to-print and variable data to maximise packaging’s potential as a marketing tool.
Advanced Business Equipment picked up the baton, supplying the hardware through their partnership with Xerox that they and Infigo presented jointly at The Packaging Innovations Exhibition in February.
From there, the Alexir Partnership became the UK’s first carton printer to set up a digital print operation, using our Catfish software.
We were delighted to hear that one of Alexir’s first digital projects was to help a company which sells olives, to produce a short run to launch a product in the United States.
America, however, remains but one aspect of our successful year – the UK remains the rock on which our growth has been built. About 80 per cent of our business remains in the UK, where we are thrilled to be working now with major players such as Rapidity, Pureprint, FT Solutions, Pensord, Cestrian and EdwardThompson.
We participated in eight major exhibitions in the UK, plus a European one - Dscoop EMEA in Dublin, where we had incredible success.
Being one of three companies shortlisted in the Sussex Business Awards for the Innovation in Business category was a fabulous way to round off the year. While we didn’t win, we were delighted to be described as “one to watch”.
As if to validate the speed and magnitude of our successes, we quickly realised we needed bigger and better offices. Very recently, we have taken charge of new headquarters, which include a purpose-built training facility where our clients can have their tuition on our software in a comfortable learning environment.
Drawing some threads from this year, 2016 will be about continuing to position ourselves as the fastest growing web-to-print provider globally, but with the focus on market sectors for which we have a collaborative web-to-print solution, rather than as a software designer with a solution that could be used in particular market sectors.
Too see what we have achieved and more this year, click here.