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Fastest Growing Private Companies: Digital R oom

Digital Room leverages online technology to manufacture old-school marketing materials such as business cards and brochures. The company started with its flagship website Uprinting.com and with venture capital acquired four other sites. The company reported revenue of $119 million last year. Van Nuys Adam Berger TITLE: Chief Executive # ON FASTEST GROWING LIST: 17 Three-Year Growth Rate: 110% Why Multiple Websites? The printing market in the U.S. is enormous. The segment in which we compete, the business segment, is estimated at over $30 billion annually. Like any large industry, there are different customer preferences and segments. We currently serve over 270,000 unique customers each year and they have different buying needs and preferences. Some customers want very fast printing, some want highly customized products and services, some want only to see a limited assortment and some want the lowest price. We have tried to operate our brands to serve specific needs in the marketplace such as NextDayFlyers which offers same-day and next-day shipping. Uprinting offers the widest selection of substrates (papers), coatings, sizes, folding types, binding types and die-cutting selection. Most Popular Products: Marketing materials, which include postcards, brochures, flyers, rack cards, door hangers, and similar products is our largest category and it comprises about 40 percent of our revenue. The prices vary by quantity, paper, folding and many other variables. Prices: The prices vary by quantity, paper, folding and many other variables, so it’s difficult to characterize. However, because we print and ship directly to the customer, the price our customers pay is very often half of what they would pay if they went through an intermediary such as a print shop or print broker. Attracting Venture Capital: Our primary shareholder is Insight Venture Partners. They have made nearly $15 billion of investments that range into the several hundred million dollars at a time. They found us because we were very good in a market that was not attracting private equity. That has changed. Different from Competitors: There are literally tens of thousands of competitors so being different is very challenging. We are now one of the largest (printers) with four plants in the United States such that we can deliver our product via the fastest and lowest-cost shipping method in two days or less to 93 percent of the U.S. We can receive artwork by 10 a.m., ship out offset printed materials at high quantity and quality by 5 p.m. the same day – very few people can do that without resorting to lower-quality digital output or without charging very high rush charges. Finally, we are maniacally focused on on-time delivery. Over 99.8 percent of the orders we ship every day are early or on time. That is critical to customers whose printed products are used to drive their business. Customers: Mainly designers who work inside marketing-driven companies, who work in design firms or who are freelancers. We serve people who care about the quality and details of printing. We also serve marketing managers in marketing companies as well. Our customers almost always have their artwork before they come to us. They count on us to put their artwork through a 30-step quality control process including reviewing it by hand and human eye to ensure the end product is the most professional output it can be. Economic/Social Trends: The single biggest trend that drives our growth is the continued acceptance of e-commerce. The second biggest trend is personalization and customization. Our customers want to distinguish themselves and they don’t want to rely upon templates someone else may have used. We offer a custom solution every time. Biggest Challenge: Finding and hiring talented employees at every level in the company. There simply is not enough good labor for both blue and white collar jobs. Next Big Opportunity: We have lots of opportunities in front of us to grow our business but I think I will keep the good ones to myself! Fun on the Job: The most fun and the most gratifying thing about my job is watching someone come into the company at a relatively low level, perhaps without much hope in their job prospects, where the word “career” is not even in their vocabulary, and watching that person grow beyond their own hopes and dreams. Advice: I am not an entrepreneur so I can’t pretend to speak as a peer but it’s the usual stuff – find a problem to solve, solve it better than anyone, focus on the unit economics and build a business that can last and grow without you.

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