Talking postcards with Fredrik Schöön, Postify

Lola A. Åkerström discusses the evolution of traditional travel postcards with Stockholm-based frontrunner, Postify

Sailing in Stockholm's Archipelago - Summer travel photography by © Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Photo by Lola A. Åkerström

It may come as a surprise to you that Stockholm is quite the hotbed of entrepreneurship, start-ups, and small businesses – many of which we’ll be spotlighting here on Slow Travel Stockholm where applicable.

With summer travels around the corner, Postify offers a simple mobile solution to sending traditional postcards – through your smartphone. We caught up with the Stockholm-based start-up to learn more about its contributions to the travel sphere.

FS 3Meet Fredrik Schöön, one of the creative forces behind Postify.

Born in Malmö, Fredrik has lived abroad for 15 years and recently spent four years as an entrepreneur in Madrid, Spain, before moving back to Stockholm with his family to work with online marketing.

Where did the idea to develop Postify come from? What problems were you trying to solve with Postify?

I met an old friend just before Christmas 2011 and we started talking about working together again. We were both fascinated by the fact that even though people are taking more and more photos with their smartphones, the pictures are forgotten afterwards and nothing interesting is done with them.

People share their memories on Twitter, FB or Instagram but then these photos are “history”.

We decided that we wanted to help people use their digital images in a better and more useful way.

Everybody loves to get Christmas cards and postcards but people rarely use pen and paper anymore because it takes a lot of time and effort to send handwritten postcards. It’s a very powerful and interesting shift that is occurring now with the quick development of smartphones, and we want to help our generation send personal postcards to their friends, parents and grandparents in a quick and easy way.

With Postify’s global network of local printers, we reduce the carbon footprint and delivery time of a normal postcard sent internationally by up to 90%. We make sure the postcard arrives from the vacation, before the sender even gets home.

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When was Postify launched? Who are your primary users?

Postify was launched in the fall 2012 when we released our Facebook and web app for the Swedish market.

Our postcard apps can be used as marketing tools to help companies engage their fans and spread their brand with real postcards. Any company, charity or brand can today have our postcard app installed on their Facebook page or web page, and let their fans and customers send real postcards.

The primary users of our apps are tourists because you tend to send most of your postcards when you are on a vacation to share the experience with others at home. But Postify is also great for seasonal holidays, birthdays, Mother’s day, party invitations or Thank you’s etc.

Last week we launched our postcard app for iPhone, which makes it even more useful, now you can send amazing postcards directly from the beach, it’s “in the mail” in just 45 seconds.

In a nutshell, how can a visitor/traveler to Stockholm benefit from Postify?

They can use our iPhone app or Facebook app and send postcards to friends and family back home. It gives a special feeling to the receiver who can stick it on their refrigerator for “good vibes”. It is also eco-friendly compared to traditional postcards.

There are so many start-ups in Stockholm, a few of them successful. What is it about Stockholm’s culture do you think allows for this?

I think it’s a perfect mix of a stable economy and the size. The startup scene in Stockholm is quite small and that makes it accessible. You are often only 1-2 connections away from finding the right person. It is also full of smart and ambitious people.

Success inspires success and motivates others. I have a few successful entrepreneurs in my network that have created cool products and brands, and following their journeys are very inspiring.

The nature of Swedish consumers, early adopters and ever changing as they are, also makes Sweden an ideal market to try out new services.

We are at the forefront of consumer behavior.

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What’s next for Postify? Any cool new features?

We launched our iPhone app last week, and will launch our Android app in two weeks. After that we are looking to expand our Postcard print network to more local markets, starting with Germany 1st of June.

Summer is a very interesting time for Postify and we already have a few client campaigns in place which will run from June to August. Basically companies sponsor and offer their customers and/or fans the possibility to send free postcards from our mobile app (with the company logo on the back).

It is a completely new concept and we are really excited about it as it’s the perfect sponsored story.

We need to evaluate the response of the smartphone apps before making any major changes, but we have already built a few more cool functions that we will release during the summer and fall.

In one week we will also launch another product called Postify Framkalla which is an app that you can use to develop your favorite photos directly from your smartphone. We print images on glossy Kodak paper and mail them directly to the preferred address.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Today, we’ve also launched at which is an equity crowdfunding site for the Nordic region. Partly we do this to raise capital for an expansion, but we are also looking for new and interesting stakeholders who we hope can add value to Postify and make us better.

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Author: Lola A. Åkerström

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning writer, photographer, and travel blogger, and is also the Founder/Editor-in-chief of Slow Travel Stockholm. Her photography is represented by National Geographic Creative. She tweets at @LolaAkinmade.

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