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Moo.com, online printing company headquartered in London, picks Boston for U.S. marketing office

Posted by Scott Kirsner  April 15, 2013 09:20 AM

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British online printing business Moo.com — think VistaPrint, but with a hipper aesthetic — is hunting for office space in Boston to serve as its U.S. headquarters. And Moo has already hired a former Zipcar executive, Stephanie Shore, to run marketing in North America.

Moo is probably best-known for its full-color business cards that can sport a different picture on the back of each one, and it already operates a U.S. printing facility in Providence, Rhode Island. CEO Richard Moross describes Moo as "a design and technology business currently focused on printed stationery, but ultimately we deal in professional identity products for small businesses." Last week, Moo, which was born in 2004, sold to its one millionth customer.

"We have roughly 50 people in Providence, over 100 people in London, and we foresee at least ten people in Boston focused on marketing initiatives," he says. "Today, 75 to 80 percent of our revenue is outside the U.K., and about 60 percent of that is in North America. So the gravitational pull is toward the U.S." Over time, he says, "it may make sense to locate other roles here, or increase certain functions in the U.S."

Moross, who was in town last week, says that Moo had been looking at various cities on the Eastern Seaboard for its U.S. office, "but we picked Boston as a by-product of the person we hired." Shore, right, spent a little over five years at Zipcar, eventually becoming vice president of global brand; before that, she'd worked in the marketing departments of Boston.com and Lawyers Weekly.

Moross says that Moo hasn't yet found office space in Boston, but that it has been focused on the Innovation District and the Leather District, near South Station. With both VistaPrint and Staples based in Massachusetts, Moross observes, "There's a fantastic group of companies in the neighborhood catering to small businesses. We're all in the same kind of industry."

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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