Investor group takes over German photo kiosk maker di support, now pixolo

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Germany-based photo kiosk maker di support GmbH, best known for its award-winning Print Cube series of photo print kiosks, has a new investor group from the tech and finance sectors, including founder Ralph Naruhn. The company, now known under its pixolo brand, is pivoting into a provider of biometric ID (passport photo) systems, and a provider of e-commerce and app solutions.

Last summer, there were reports the company entered into liquidation, according to a report. At the time, the company did not respond to requests for comment.

Naruhn, who founded the company in 2000 but sold the majority of his shares in 2019,  is now once again the largest shareholder. The new group of shareholders includes tech entrepreneur Philipp Dommermuth as well as finance and tech experts Jörg Mayer and Rüdiger Fajen. The aim is to further develop di support in its core competencies and to expand the technological lead gained in some solutions.

According to a press release,  the management of di support carried out a restructuring in self-administration with the support of the new investors before implementing the new shareholder structure. The company said the restructuring was necessary after the effects of the coronavirus crisis, the war in Ukraine, and a continued decline in consumer demand for instant print in the retail sector changed the market conditions for the long term. The adaptation of the business model to more digital products which was initiated at short notice, combined with the further development of innovative areas, bore fruit immediately, with the result that di support returned to profitability in 2023, the company said.

Going forward, the company said it will:

  • Emphasize and grow its biometric ID (passport photo) B-2-B systems, in particular, is being further expanded and internationalized. To this end, the development of state-of-the-art AI systems and cloud services that meet the highest security standards is being increased.
  • Decrease emphasis on the operation of instant print systems in the retail sector. Instead, the portfolio will be supplemented and further expanded with e-commerce solutions and individualized on-demand photo and lifestyle products, the company said.
  • Launch of a new app under the pixolo brand
  • Become pixolo GmbH, with “pixolo” also becoming the company’s brand. The popular pixolo app with several 100,000 users has also been transferred. The new name will be supported by far-reaching measures in the “pixolo – eine neue Liebe” (a new love) campaign, which will be launched in December 2023.

“As a team, we are very happy about this development. The new setup in the company is wonderful and has personally motivated me greatly to become more entrepreneurially involved in the company, which I founded over 20 years ago and which I had already largely passed on to other shareholders,” says Naruhn. “I have known the members of our team and my new partners in the shareholder group well for many years and I am looking forward to the time ahead.”

Mayer has joined as managing partner and CFO. He has been working in finance/investment banking for almost 30 years and has extensive experience in the tech sector, among other things, the company said. He is also one of the founding partners of ConsusPartner, which has developed into a leading advisory firm for mergers & acquisitions / corporate finance in the small and mid-cap sector since 2006. In addition, ConsusPartner also acts as a long-term partner of companies – as is now the case with pixolo – in various phases, which can also involve additional operational and corporate law tasks.

“A team from ConsusPartner has been working with di support under my leadership for almost five years now and we continue to be impressed by the innovative strength and dynamism of the people involved,” said Mayer. “I am therefore very pleased that we can intensify our cooperation in the new constellation and make our contribution to the successful development of pixolo.”