Anyone who has ever tried to get anything printed will appreciate that this is never as easy as you would hope. If you are brave enough to call a printer you will be asked a never ending list of questions which include words you won’t have heard before. This is where London based start up moo.com comes in, their aim being to take all the pain out of printing and to deliver high quality print work to consumers and businesses within a few days of uploading the artwork.
Pleasure Cards (which would later become moo) was founded in 2004 by Richard Moross when we was 26, with £150,000 of investment from his dad’s business partner’s neighbour’s friend. His aim was to produce high quality business cards which were easy to personalise and produce – he openly admits that he had no experience or networks which would help him achieve this but claims that his passion and work ethic would allow success to prevail. However, just 18 months later Richard was left with a large pile of credit card receipts, a small pile of cash and an even smaller pile of order confirmations. Richard accredits this failure on the name having no “meaningful traction”, the software which they used an agency to build not being powerful enough, and not having the money to fix it. Well, as Greg told us a while back – the beginning is never, ever easy.
Luckily, people like Greg and Richard persevere. In 2006, Richard took the time to consider what was right about the business and what was wrong. From this he decided to change the name from Pleasure Cards to moo and focus on the element of the product which consumers liked, the design. In order to capitalise on the deisgn he teamed up with WeeWorld which allowed users to create an avatar of themselves and upload it to the business card, these would later become known as “Web 2.0′s secret handshake”. This turned the business around and moo raised £2.7 million in a funding round led by Index Ventures, which allowed the company to begin paying the staff who up to that point had been working for free.
Moo now produces millions of business cards a month, only 30% of which are delivered to England, and has 85 employees in England and America. Richard is adamant that the most important part of his business is the people he hires and how happy they are – this is why the fourth person he hired was a Head of People who’s role was to make sure that the staff were always happy and comfortable. This ambition to keep everyone happy can sometimes become time consuming as the London team have moved offices seven times in the last seven years to accommodate the expanding staff. Surely that’s a record?Google+