Print-on-demand merchandise business launches after oversubscribed fund-raising

Nora Yassin and Jack Fox

An oversubscribed funding-raising exercise has led to the creation of a new print-on-demand merchandise platform.

Middleton-based Merchr has swung into production at its Rhodes Business Park facility after securing £350,000 in a pre-seed fundraising round which had intended to riase £250,000.

The latest investment has enabled its founders to further develop the company’s technology, invest in equipment and recruit more staff to bring its offering to market. Merchr has been set up by an experienced team backed by Martin Varley, a well known senior executive in the personalised products industry.

Co-founders Nora Yassin, head of partnerships, and Jack Fox, head of operations, have recruited a 12-strong team of front-end developers, production, marketing and administrative staff for the launch, with plans to grow the workforce in line with the expansion of the business.

Merchr’s senior development team includes Seth Regan as head of technology and development, Sharon Watson as head of production and Sarah O’Donovan as brand and marketing co-ordinator.

The company, which also has a sales office in Elstree, north of London, helps individuals and groups build their brand and reach new audiences by creating their own merchandise collection to sell to fans, friends and followers in an eco-friendly, risk-free way without the need to hold stock or worry about the logistics of production, printing and shipping.

The platform is aimed at organisations and individuals such as charities, schools, universities and colleges, sportspeople, clubs and societies, visitor attractions, influencers, podcasters, YouTubers, gamers, bands and other artistic performers, as well as online retailers and entrepreneurs seeking additional routes to market.

Merchr’s range of merchandise initially includes hoodies, t-shirts, polo shirts, jackets and hats. The platform enables users to create and launch a free online store through the Merchr Hub, where they can design and upload their customised product collections with artwork, a logo, slogan or an image.

Alternatively, they can connect an existing website via Merchr’s integrations with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce.

Once an order is placed, Merchr’s software delivers print-ready artwork directly to the Middleton facility which is equipped with the latest digital printing, direct-to-garment, direct-to-film and laser engraving machinery. Products are dispatched within 24 hours.

Nora said: “Merchr was created on the belief that everyone, no matter what level of entrepreneurial spirit they possess, has the power to design, publish and profit. Setting up a merchandise store is free and extremely easy – it can be achieved in less than eight minutes.

Merchr bottle machine

“We are bridging the gap to make it simple for individuals, groups and organisations to sell their merchandise on a retail basis without the need to hold stock. Many of them cannot afford to buy products in bulk, but Merchr makes selling merchandise accessible for everyone on a print-on-demand basis. As we also fulfil the orders by handling all of the packing and shipping, it’s a risk-free solution which is designed for store owners to rapidly scale.”

She added: “Since completing our initial fundraising, we have invested in developing the platform and technology as well as bringing in the latest equipment and building a dynamic and capable team. We have hit the ground running and look forward to the future with confidence as more and more merchandise stores are opened on the platform.”

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