D.C.-based Framebridge today announced the close of a $30 million Series C financing round led by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. with participation from existing investors SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, Revolution Ventures, and NEA.
Launched in 2014, Framebridge offers affordable and convenient custom framing via its website and mobile app. The idea for the company started when founder and CEO Susan Tynan went to get four National Parks posters framed. After a multi-hour consultation, she ended up spending $1,600.
“I left thinking ‘What did I just do?’” said Tynan. “The framing cost more than my couch, and that experience just really stuck with me.”
She poured herself into understanding how the framing industry works, and soon after, Framebridge was born.
On the consumer side, the process is really simple. Users can either upload a picture to be framed, or request shipping materials from Framebridge to send in an existing photo, poster, or piece of art. Users can then ship in their art and choose the framing style on the website or app, with the finished product returning back at their house within seven to ten days.
Because Framebridge does all its own production, the company has been able to implement some automation and refine the production process to lower cost. The highest price a user will pay on Framebridge is $199, with the lowest price at $39 for a framed 10×10 Instagram.
Unlike some other direct-to-consumer, custom-framing startups that outsource their products, Framebridge handles all of its own production. This means that, as the company grows, its margins get healthier and the business gets stronger.
Another benefit of in-house production is that Framebridge gets to see what its users are framing, which has turned out to be much more than your average poster or picture. Tynan recalled seeing baseball tickets, hand-written vows, and other sentimental items come through the facility, and said that up to 65 percent of the items Framebridge customers framed with the startup are things they wouldn’t have taken to a traditional custom framer.
Tynan says that balancing supply and demand is one of the biggest challenges of the company.
“Every time we sell something, we have to produce it,” said Tynan. “We’re getting more sophisticated as we grow, but we’re not a SaaS company. Unlike a lot of other startups, we had to get a lot of disciplines right from the very beginning.”
The new funding will go toward expanding manufacturing capabilities, refining the delivery process, marketing and brand awareness, as well innovation in the product itself.