In yet another move to buy up London-based startups involved with the photo or printing market, Canon Europe has acquired Kite, a print tech startup that allows developers to add on-demand printing features to their apps. This particular move follows the acquisition of parental photo-sharing app Lifecake in 2015.

Kite was established in 2013 by Fionn Concannon, Deon Botha, and Charlie Carpenter, with support from Black Ocean, a Luxembourg-based investment group. It offers iOS and Android SDKs and a REST-based API in order to enable developers to add on-demand/personalized print products to their products. Essentially, the startup takes it upon itself to do all of the grunt work required for print-based e-commerce, with regard to software, a large range of products, and local printers and fulfillment.

 To accomplish this, Kite is currently integrated into over 500 consumer-facing apps and websites, including customers such as PhotoBox, Polaroid, and Ticketmaster, and claiming to reach some 200 million mobile users worldwide.

Although the terms of this deal have yet to come to light, it is understood that Kite’s founders, along with the rest of the team of twelve, intend to stay on even after the acquisition is complete, with the company remaining as an independent brand within Canon group. According to a Canon spokesperson:

Canon are keen to preserve the great entrepreneurial spirit and the founders’ DNA that drove the team to build a world class company.

It has also been brought to light that the acquisition is seen as compatible with Canon’s mission to make image printing accessible on any device. Specifically, the Canon-Kite solution will “help developers, brands and the professional print industry create new revenue streams through mobile-focused personalized print”.

Charlie Carpenter, CEO and co-founder of Kite, commented in a statement:

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.

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