September 17, 2012, 3:05 PM

Web photo-printing retailer Shutterfly buys a mobile app developer

Penguin Digital’s app lets customers order photos they took with their iPhones. 

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Photo prints retailer Shutterfly Inc. is expanding its mobile commerce capabilities with the acquisition of Penguin Digital Inc., a mobile app developer. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In January, New York-based Penguin launched an iPhone app called Mobile Photo Factory, or MoPho for short. The app enables customers to create and purchase physical prints and photo-based merchandise, such as coffee mugs, playing cards and T-shirts, using photos from their iPhone photo libraries, or their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Penguin has also developed software that lets other app developers integrate the printing of photos and photo-based products such as iPhone cases or canvases into their own apps.

“The acquisition of Penguin Digital supports our mobile strategy aimed at giving consumers better ways to engage with their photos and personalize products on the go,” says Jeffrey Housenbold, president and CEO of Shutterfly, which is based in Redwood City, CA. “We believe it’s important to give consumers the choice and convenience of transforming their memories into high-quality products and gifts from their PC, tablet and mobile phone.”

Shutterfly, No. 53 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says it will rebrand and update the MoPho app in the coming months, adding it to the retailer’s mobile offerings that already include iPhone and iPad apps. The Penguin Digital team, including founders Reuven Moskowitz and Josh Friedman, will be part of Shutterfly’s new technology center in New York City.

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