Why There's Still Money in Hardcopy
The funding itself is fairly straightforward, coming after an earlier £300k angel round and involving a mix of UK VC (Balderton Capital) as well as friends/family (disguised as Techtopia). What makes Lifecake interesting are two aspects. Firstly, it’s been built by ex Skype, Yahoo and Qualcomm developers (hence an ability to roll out multi platform at this early stage). Secondly, it’s their monetisation model.
Lifecake enters an already busy market and is clearly a minnow compared to the big boys. It may have some cute software to enable different family users to bring forward the most popular photos, but it still only intends to charge a £25 annual fee, once you’ve exceeded your free 1Gb limit.
However, they are also intending to offer hard copy photo books. Customers will be able to select 80 photos and have them printed (one photo per page) in a hardcover book – apparently for less than £40. For an app aimed at families, it’s a great idea, even in a fully digital world. It will be interesting to see how they get on.