Canon Europe Acquires Kite.ly to Expand Mobile-Printing Development

Left to right: Deon Botha, Co-founder of Kite.ly, Fionn Concannon, Co-founder & Managing Director of Kite.ly, Alberto Spinelli, Senior Director of Digital Services at Canon Europe, Charlie Carpenter, CEO and Co-founder of Kite.ly

Canon Europe reports that it’s acquired Kite.ly, a London-based startup company specializing in personalizing printing, for an undisclosed sum. Canon says the acquisition is part of its strategy to “printing accessible to all via any device.”

Alberto Spinelli, Senior Director of Digital Services at Canon Europe, said that the Kite.ly acquisition will help enable Canon’s goal of “making mobile printing ubiquitous.” Spinelli also noted: “There is a fast-growing trend of consumers who want to shop for customised products and do it in an easy way from their mobile devices. The combination of Canon’s high quality printing technologies and Kite.ly’s easy-to-use solutions will create an unrivalled portfolio of print products, accessible to customers everywhere through existing and new imaging apps.”

Kite.ly is joining Canon’s group of companies and brands that offer complementary digital services, such as Lifecake and irista, which Canon says will help it create a complete imaging ecosystem for consumers, from capture, reliving, sharing, and printing, via easy-to-use mobile apps and Web sites.

Canon also says that the acquisition will also allow its B2B partners and customers “to explore new business opportunities,” while retailers will be able to offer a complete end-to-end online personalised print solution to their customers, both online and in-store. It also says that print-service providers will be able to plug the Canon-Kite.ly solution into their existing infrastructures and gain access to new revenue streams.

Kite will remain independent brand within Canon group.

Kite offers Apple iOS and Android software development kits (SDKs) and a REST-based API to enable developers to add personalized print products to their offerings. According to Tech Crunch, “The startup essentially does all of the heavy lifting needed for print-based e-commerce, in terms of software, a large range of products, and local printers and fulfilment.”

Kite is currently integrated into over 500 consumer apps and Web sites, including customers such as PhotoBox, Polaroid, and Ticketmaster. It says it has some 200 million mobile users worldwide.

Charlie Carpenter, CEO and co-founder of Kite.ly: “Today is a huge day for the Kite.ly team, reflecting the success of our relentless ambition to deliver a mobile personalised print solution, globally. We are excited to combine our innovative technology platform with Canon’s digital services portfolio to lead a new print era together. We are inspired that Canon shares our vision to become the internet’s print button, embedded into any imaging app or website. Kite.ly hosts hundreds of app clients around the world and together with Canon we will be able to enhance their service, to help them generate new revenue and engage with their users in a much more meaningful way.”

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