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Cafepress Acquires Imagekind.com for an Estimated $15-20 Million.

It was informally announced this morning that Cafepress purchased Imagekind.com for an estimated $15-$20 million. Imagekind is a marketplace of member created art that is printed on demand. The model is similar to Cafepress where the artists set their own price markup but it is focused specifically on prints. Prices of the artwork range from $5 to $500.

Imagekind was founded in 2006 with $300K used to purchase printing equipment, hire staff and web site development. In February 2007 Imagekind raised an additional $2.6 million in funding and was valued at around $7 million. Imagekind had turned down offers in the past to be purchased by Amazon.com. It is likely that both Art.com and Zazzle.com were also involved in recent negotiations to purchase the growing print on demand company. Imagekind has grown quickly to over 750,000 art images for sale by over 50,000 artists worldwide.

For more information on the deal check out Venture Beat or an older article with a few facts about Imagekind at the Seattle Times. You can also follow the story at TechCrunch.

Cafepress

Written by T-Shirt Talk

11 Comments

  1. Al · July 8, 2008

    Wow, that’s big news.

  2. Cafepress Buys Imagekind | The T-Shirt Review · July 8, 2008

    [...] came across this on T-Shirt Talk and you can find more info on Venture [...]

  3. » CafePress Acquires Imagekind T-Shirt Blog - CafePress Blog - Zazzle Blog - Spreadshirt Blog - T-Shirt News - T-ShirtChat Blog Archive · July 8, 2008

    [...] “Imagekind has grown quickly to over 750,000 art images for sale by over 50,000 artists worldwide.” “In February 2007 Imagekind raised an additional $2.6 million in funding and was valued at around $7 million.” –Source: T-Shirt Talk [...]

  4. Shaker · July 8, 2008

    I hope they take good care of management.

  5. ___ · July 8, 2008

    why would zazzle want to buy image kind? they already offer all those products

  6. T-Zone · July 9, 2008

    This is going to be interesting to say the least- It will be a Wait and See as to how this is handled and what eventually happens with the SAS affiliates.

  7. Steve Vera · July 9, 2008

    Cool! This sounds great! Looks like Cafe Press is going to have a bunch of new folks on board. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  8. tony andrews · July 10, 2008

    Wow. CafePress is going to be like the king of online customized t-shirts.

  9. derek · July 14, 2008

    Kool. Thanks for the info. Thats very interesting…

  10. Kevin · July 15, 2008

    I was completely unaware of this. Thanks for the info and the informative piece.

  11. Linkin Mall · June 22, 2009

    Recently CafePress began competing with the artists for whom it acts as printer and shipper.

    CafePress rents web shops to its artists. The artist creates a website page and manually loads the desired blank products. The artist imports his image onto each product, arranges the products on the page, describes the products, titles the products and tags the images.

    Initially, the artist would set a markup and received the markup for each product sold.

    However, recently CafePress began competing with its artists, using the artists’ own images. CafePress created a marketplace where a customer can search a keyword. That search brings up artist products. When the customer buys from the marketplace CafePress pays the artist 10% of the price CafePress set. Both the customer and the artist lose money. If the artist’s shop sells a t-shirt for $21, the artist makes $3.01. If the marketplace sells the same shirt for $25, the artist gets $2.50. The customer pays $4 more, and the artist gets $0.51 less.

    CafePress tells artists to “promote your own shop,” but CafePress buys Google adwords using the very image tags the artist provided.

    CafePress justifies this bait and switch of service terms by telling artists they can opt out if they don’t like the new terms; however, many have spent as much as 7 or 8 years creating as much as 88000 images.

    In spite of their sweat-equity, many shopkeepers (content providers) are building shops at other print-on-demand companies and then closing their CafePress shops due to the broken faith and trust, the financial hardship CafePress has delivered into so many lives, and the huge amount of time and dedicated effort all lost in the momentum of their own businesses. Would you keep your AMOCO station franchise if AMOCO built a company store across the street from you?

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