I’m delighted to announce I’ve participated in the angel funding round of Printastic.

Printastic is the best mobile app for printing photo books and calendars. That may sound exaggerated, but it isn’t. Unlike almost all other photo printing services, Printastic was built with the idea of creating a great experience for mobile users. There is no desktop heritage getting in the way of the user experience. It is just simple and clean. You build your book or calendar and are done. Here’s a shot of the app in action showing a page from a calendar I made for my parents as an xmas gift.

The whole calendar took literally 10 minutes and my parents love it. Here’s a screnshot of the app:

In the mobile age ease of use is not one of many features, it is THE feature, and printastic has achieved it.

It is legitimate to ask why existing photo printing services can’t create a great mobile experience. History shows though that businesses struggle greatly in making the leap from one platform to another. Old thought models and preconceptions prove to no longer be valid. Defending an existing way of thinking, an existing revenue stream proves irresistible.

The numbers to date show that Printastic’s pure mobile vision is the correct one. Customers love it. Repeat usage is high and revenue is growing rapidly as a result. The other thing I love about the business is they have taken international expansion seriously from the start and have a great international spread of their usage. It is a global business.

While the majority of my investing attention (and funds) is focused on the location based service space (for example AVUXI, Flock, Localistico, and What3Words) there is one category I will always make an exception for: start-ups founded by people I know to be excellent, by which I mean talented, passionate,and stubborn. Printastic falls into this category. The business is founded by Ivailo Jordanov. Ivailo and I first met when I in 2002 when I was at Yahoo Europe and he was CTO at eSpotting. Later, by complete coincidence, we ended up competing in the real estate search space, before Ivailo had the good sense to move on to more exciting things. Ivailo we became good friends, and I’m delighted to have the chance to back a project he is associated with.

If you’ve made it this far you should now download the Printastic app, and make your first book. I have a few gift codes I can share with anyone who wants one. Ping me on twitter if you’d like one.