Custom Ink Acquires Swag.com
Custom Ink announced today that it has acquired Swag.com, a branded merchandise and corporate gifting company whose tech-enabled "swag distribution" model is similar to that of the gifting-as-a-service companies we've seen recently.
“With Swag.com, we’ll help organizers and organizations meet the really important need of sustaining a sense of connection and community no matter where people are located,” Custom Ink co-founder and CEO Marc Katz said in a press release. “Nothing creates the feeling of pride and connection like custom gear, and Swag.com has set a new standard for easy and intuitive gifting of high quality swag. There is amazing alignment of values between our companies, and we’re excited to build and extend our platforms together.”
Swag.com founders Jeremy Parker and Josh Orbach will stay on staff leading the company within the Custom Ink umbrella. After founding the company in 2016, Swag.com has seen steady growth, most recently landing at No. 368 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies.
Parker said that the pandemic and demand for branded products as a means of connecting with employees working remotely or as gifts for virtual trade shows spurred growth for the company.
“With many employees and partners feeling out of touch, our new model for swag distribution helped companies maintain their identity and cohesion,” he said in a press release.
“In an increasing virtual world, physical items still have profound impact on connecting people, building relationships and showing generosity,” Orbach added. “Swag.com and Custom Ink were both built on the power of using swag to bring people together, and we believe this combination will position us for long-term leadership in our category.”
The gifting-as-a-service model has been growing in the last few years, with more companies popping up and generating heavy interest from investors. (One of these companies, Sendoso, got $100 million in series C funding in September.) The model uses automation to simplify purchasing and distribution for companies buying corporate gifts for employees, which became a greater challenge during the pandemic.
For Custom Ink, the acquisition should significantly strengthen its distribution and fulfillment capabilities in what is fast becoming a competitive market for added services beyond branded merchandise production alone.
Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.