Blankt let you design your next purchase – aims to be the Canva of e-commerce

Max Xie and Arman Karégar, founders of blankt. Image credit: Press.

With several different trends changing e-commerce simultaneously, the sector is eager for new tools and solutions to add into the fast growing ecosystem.

One of the challenges that a lot of companies face exist within the design and creative parts of the various platforms. Something that Swedish startup blankt wants to solve.

“We want to be a Canva, but for e-commerce. They cover a lot of design needs in their field, and we want to do that for merchants in the e-commerce sphere”, says Arman Karégar, CEO and Founder of blankt.

It all started out at KTH (The Royal Institute of Technology) in Stockholm, when Arman Karégar met Max Xie, a data engineer with a background in Swedish payment rocket iZettle and global consultant firm Accenture.

Karégar on the other hand has his background in leadership and artistry, where, alongside his studies, he accomplished the feat of becoming an elected politician, elected to 2 large companies’ boards, but also succeeding in his hobby, music, with millions of streams and 10 thousands of followers on social media.

“Max and I share a desire to create new things, and because we are different in lots of ways, when we put our heads together, we come up with some great ideas. Even though we didn’t know what, we knew we wanted to build something together”, says Arman Karégar.

Met the design paradox

With the background in creative industries the leap to building a company wasn’t too big, and the experiences of being a creator himself, made it easier to choose the path for the future project: Design and creation.

During university, their first idea was to start an e-commerce business focused on water bottles with the possibility for the customers to customize their own design. But almost instantly obstacles emerged.

“No matter how we tried to solve all the designs of the water bottles; it was demanding and complicated. Just licensing designs, implementing customizable tools for our customers, and revising designs with freelancers were all time-consuming and expensive together. Additionally, we had to e.g. create social media posts on yet another platform, increasing the time and costs associated with the design work”, says Arman Karégar.

The duo dropped the idea pretty much immediately but a couple of years later in 2021, when Arman was finishing his studies and they talked about starting a company again, the penny finally dropped. Instead of starting their own e-commerce, the duo focused on solving the design challenge within the business.

“If we approach the design issue and gather all in one platform we could solve a lot of problems for a lot of merchants. And with the assistance of new technology and AI, possibilities are endless.”

Arman Karégar is using his background in music and politics when building blankt.

International customers

Since then the company has built a SaaS design engine for businesses with endless possibilities to create new designs for products, adjust and/or take pre-made designs, create branding material or integrate the engine to let customers design the products. The design engine accommodates everything from t-shirts and posters to digital products and NFT:s.

One of blankt’s first customers were Swiss company Ifolor, one of the largest e-commerces for photo products in Europe, which has integrated the engine on its platforms.

Next thing up for blankt is to grow their customer base and scale up on operations. In order to do that the company is planning to raise its first funding round later this year.

“We’ve bootstrapped our journey to this point and, as a result, are starting to face a capacity shortage. It’s certainly a luxury problem, but every day we can’t operate at full capacity is a day we miss out on opportunities. Fortunately, AI is already assisting us, and we’re among other things actively exploring ways to further harness its potential in our engine”, says Arman Karégar.

Johannes Lundberg

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