Tech start-up of the week: Framed and Delivered

22 Dec 2014

Pictured: Catherine Norman of Framed and Delivered pictured with Finn and Sharon O'Mahony at the launch of the app

Our tech start-up of the week is Framed and Delivered, an app that allows users to upload a photo from their iPhone and which then prints, frames and delivers the 6×8-inch photo anywhere in the world for just €19.95.

Framed and Delivered founder Catherine Norman explained that the target market is all 200m iPhone users in the world, but she is starting by focusing on the Irish, European and US App Store.

“The product has a competitive advantage in that there is currently no app out there that provides the exact service for the value price of €19.95,” she said.

The market

Yahoo  estimate that 880 billion photos will be taken over the course of 2014.

Today, smartphones are outselling cameras 10 to 1.

“Photography is far more accessible to all now than in the days of camera and film. Photos were originally taken to be printed and we want to get people excited about their photographs again and to put them on display.

“The photography printing market is underserved at the moment and there is a gap in the market to make the printing and framing process simpler using technology,” Norman said.

The founder

Catherine Norman has a background in photography sales.

Her co-founder is well known Irish landscape photographer Giles Norman.

“We have over 25 years experience in photography sales so this venture compliments our already existing business.”

The technology

The appeal of Framed and Delivered is its simplicity, in terms of use and aesthetics.

Once you have chosen your picture, you simply choose a frame, crop the photo, add a caption and enter your payment and delivery details. The functionality is clear and intuitive.

“The F&D solution consists of two components – a client app which is currently iPhone, with an Android version due in the New Year) – that has been designed to gather order details with an ‘easy to use’ interface and a cloud based back end that stores these details for order fulfilment,” Catherine Norman explained.

“The ultimate goal to rank number 1 on iTunes and Google Play for photo framing and to bring the joy of seeing your photo framed on your wall to customers across the world.”

Shiny, appy people

Norman said that Framed and Delivered has been in business for 10 months and is featured on the Apple iTunes App store. 

“We have only been actively marketing the app for the past two months. We have had sales of over 500 to date and 900 downloads. We are getting a lot of repeat business which is a sign that customers are happy with the product.”

She said that one of the biggest challenges has been getting the message out to a global audience. “With a zero marketing budget we have to be innovative in our marketing efforts. Focusing on competitions across social media and courting key influencer’s and radio presenters with free product sampling. 

“Staying current with technology changes, funding for App developments, we aim to have an Android version of the App out in the New Year.”

Be innovative with your PR

To get started Norman availed of the Accelerator Programme with the South Cork Enterprise Board, which offered great support in terms of direction and mentoring.  

“However, I would definitely like to see more being done in the way of encouraging start-ups to be brave, to network more and develop their entrepreneurial skills.”

Her advice to other start-ups is to be innovative with your PR.

“Most self starters are starting with a zero marketing budget so court radio presenters and other influencers,” she recommended.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years