CEO Series

How This M'sian Trio Started An On-Demand Printing Company Without Owning Any Printers

  • Sprintla is Malaysia’s first cloud printing network startup and on-demand printing service which helps students get their assignments printed without the need to wait in line.
  • Sprintla is currently available in over 15 educational institutes and will be looking to expand to 50 by the end of the year.

As we are living in the age of technology, the rise of on-demand service apps like Grab, foodpanda, and Kaodim have brought us to another level of convenience. You can get a ride to the store, order dinner, and even hire someone to clean your home, all just with the push of a button.

Thanks to new tech innovations, on demand services have branched out into industries beyond entertainment and transportation, with latest one being an on-demand printing service called Sprintla.

Sprint What?

Justin Wong and his team came up with the idea for Sprintla when they were doing an assignment.

“It was all back in 2016 where our lecturer wanted us to come up with an online business idea. We spent our effort to look for problems to solve but wasn’t progressing. All our friends have already got their idea and started working on it, but we still had no idea where to start!”

“It was then until just the last few weeks before the submission of an assignment, I was trying to get one of my learning materials printed. As usual, it was just a few pages of documents but I wasted more than 30 minutes at the shop.”

“I asked myself a question why should students or any people spent their time on unproductive stuffs as such and Sprintla was born.”

How It Works

The procedure of printing on Sprintla

The way Sprintla works is pretty simple.

  1. To upload documents, you just have to sign up on their website and you just need to drag and drop to upload your documents. They accept all formats of PDF, PPT and DOC.
  2. After that choose your printing preference such as printing on both sides, bindings, number of copies and many more options.
  3. Then top up your account with sufficient credits. There are many ways to pay from credit cards, online banking and even PayPal.
  4. Next choose a vendor which is nearby your location and you will see the time it will take to print.
  5. Head to the printer and its ready to be collected.

Sprintla monetises by charging a commission from the online sales that they help to facilitate.

The Three Sprinters

The team consists of a trio with a vast background in different industries.

“I took a gap year after my SPM and was really lucky to join a FMCG company on running market research in China locally,” said Justin, co-founder of Sprintla.

“While I was still studying in MMU, I joined UBER Malaysia and lead the Operation team in Melaka City which was in charge of driver recruitment and partnership.”

“My co-founder, Aaron grew up from his parent’s textile printing factory since young and has then ventured into multiple businesses starting from his time in university. He is also currently a lecturer in Multimedia University.”

The third member is Thony, who helped organise one of the largest marathon events in Melaka. He is also the marketing lead of Melaka Bacang St. John Ambulance where they have organised first aid classes in all the kindergarten, primary and secondary school.

Image Credit: Sprintla

Although the three of them have experience in different backgrounds, they still had to learn how to run the business the hard way.

“When we were still new in business and lacking resources, we weren’t able to serve our customers and printing partner well. We almost lost one of our very early printing partners due to this but luckily we managed to learn from our mistake quickly and continued building the relationship with our stakeholders,” Justin said.

“Trust is the biggest lesson we learnt.”

Winning Races

The Sprintla team did not plan on scaling their project and making it something big as they had to focus on their studies and Sprintla was originally just a side project.

They had a big break when they became one of the participants for 1337 Academy Alpha Startups. On the very first day of class at the academy, they were assigned to Tunku Abdul Rahman University College to do their market research.

“After the course, it was our university MMU Entrepreneurship Development Center (EDC) that gave us the resources, opportunity and faith that pushed us forward going the extra mile.”

Sprintla managed to get some big name investors on board, including the founder of MOLpay and Commerce.asia, Ganesh Kumar Bangah during the demo day of University Masterclass, organised by StartupMalaysia.org.

Editor’s Note: The previous sentence was amended to include the organisers, StartupMalaysia.org. 

However, Justin and his team still feels it’s too early to celebrate.

Going For Gold

Since they are in the early stages of growth, they are currently not profitable.

“We are not profitable at the moment as we have been spending our resources on market awareness and user education. We forecast to be profitable in our local universities market by Q2 next year (2019).”

They are on track to be in 50 major universities and colleges by the end of the year. Although educational institutes are their primary and fundamental market, they will be expanding their services in the future including launching their very own mobile application.

“We are expanding our services to captures the needs of working professional who is always on the go and also launching our Enterprise plan which targets the B2B markets,” Justin added.

  • If you would like to know more about Sprintla check out their website here and Facebook page here.

 

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