Fri Oct 09 2015

John Hepburn joins the Gelato board

Oslo-based software company Gelato is proud to announce that John Hepburn, former Vice-Chairman of Morgan-Stanley, has lead an investment in the company alongside key Scandinavian industrialists and individual investors including Marcus Wallenberg, Harald Mix and Urban Jansson. Over a career spanning 40 years advising key industrial groups in Scandinavia, John will also join the board of Gelato alongside Chairman Klas Johansson, Partner at Altor Equity Partners, and Norman Fiore, General Partner at Dawn Capital.

Gelato’s mission is to offer its users high quality global print services that make perfect economical sense and are environmentally sustainable. “We founded the business 7 years ago on a very simple premise” explains Henrik Müller-Hansen, founder and CEO of Gelato, “that companies and individuals across the world would want their materials printed as close as possible to where they are needed. Gelato reduces transport distances by 80% on average, thereby massively cutting carbon emissions and transportations costs. With 400,000 printers globally, we see our mission as routing print files from all over the world intelligently to the closest printer.”

Initially, however, printers didn’t want Gelato’s business. “Printers suffer from 30 minute handling times which made our relatively smaller print jobs uneconomic” remarks Henrik Müller-Hansen. “The hardest problem the tech team cracked was getting the 30 minutes down to 2. Now we have printers across the world approaching us just to get access to Gelato´s production volume and this industry-changing efficiency improvement.”

The combination of lower production costs due to Gelato’s technology, lower distribution costs due to local printing, and massively reduced carbon emissions enabled Gelato’s business to take off. Today, the company’s network of connected printers provides services in 40 countries and covers a population of over 1 billion people. In 2014, Gelato´s revenue grew by 70% to 170 million NOK and is expected to exceed 300 million NOK in 2015, with profits tripling over the past year. In 2015, Gelato will ship over 1 million orders via its channel partners to serve consumers and enterprises like Schibsted Media Group, Gruner + Jahr from Germany and UNICEF Norway.

The capital raised will be used to further accelerate Gelato’s global reach and propel the expansion into the enterprise market. Müller-Hansen explains: “When we let new investors on-board, it is because they can bring exceptional and relevant experience. John has played an active role in many major global companies as they’ve gone public and expanded operations both in the United States and Europe. He has also operated in Scandinavia and is well connected to its multinational organizations.”

John Hepburn is equally passionate about his latest investment. He shares: “These days, addressing your company’s environmental impact is just good business. By applying sharing economy concepts, Gelato is bringing print operations into the 21st Century. So the more I got to know this industry and Gelato’s unique position, the more interested I became. Gelato’s platform is a significant global business opportunity. Gelato can change the structure in the digital print industry that every year grows by the size of the total music industry. What I also want to invest in are companies that bring meaningful solutions to life.”

Since inception in 2007, Gelato has raised a total of 130 million NOK, with the latest valuation being 1.5 billion NOK. With the company’s capital efficient business model and the recent MNOK 75 capital injection, the current cash reserve is 110 million NOK.