StackaWraps has secured investment from two leading wide-format industry figures as it looks to steer its innovative shaped fabric POS and film props business through its next period of growth.
Callprint and Jupiter Visual Communications director Ben Moss and Displayways managing director Rob Kelly, previously directors of Service Graphics and St Ives respectively, have both taken equity stakes in StackaWraps. The deals were completed last month.
StackaWraps creates photo-realistic, big 3D versions of items such as bottles and cups are printed on fabric and held together by a skeleton. The promotional items then are flat-packed for cost-effective transportation.
Director Richard Peter said: “We spent three years developing the product and it has got more and more popular. I couldn’t keep up; Ben and Rob have come on board to help manage expansion.”
Since its launch, monthly turnover peaked last December at around £50,000 thanks to a high-level of interest from major brands including the likes of Coca-Cola.
“So far it’s going really well and brand managers are realising StackaWraps are modular and can be shipped easily. A typical wrap weighs about as much as a cardigan.”
Peter, who is developing new products such as StackaWraps with shelving, also plans to sell software licences abroad, especially in the US.
Applications include retail POS, in-store demos, product launches, pop-ups, events and roadshows and exhibitions. Software converts a flat photo into a 3D image, which then generates a series of panels.
His digital company sends a StackaWraps design file by email to the customer who then builds internal sections, a box and packaging.
He added that he and business partner Natasha Leigh developed the process and the “clever part” was the method used to convert a 2D into a 3D printable image.
“At the same time we have to create a set of construction drawings for the manufacture of the frame work that makes up the displays.”
Kelly, who runs large-format printer Displayways, Displayways Visual Communications and creative consultancy K16 said he and Moss had taken a “worthwhile percentage” in the business that had “growth potential for all of us who are involved”.
“This is a standalone business from all my other interests but the fact it happens to be a graphic product is great as we know and understand the issues.”
Kelly added the portable display market in the USA was worth £250m and StackaWraps could also make inroads into POS and merchandising, so the overall market opportunity was “significant”.
He said: “When I saw an image of a six-foot-high drinks bottle that looked like a solid object I thought ‘I’ve seen this before, so what?’
“Then I realised that it was made up of a photo realistic graphic-wrap zipped around a frame that flat-packs. The products look real, not like a 3D printed and painted version.”
Moss added: “I have been working in the graphics and display markets for three decades and have not seen a product as clever as this one since the invention of the pop-up display system.”