This month, US-based Entourage Yearbooks finalized its acquisition of Picaboo Yearbooks.
I met with Bill Miles, Founder and CEO of Picaboo Yearbooks, as well as Elias Jo, Founder and CEO of Entourage Yearbooks, to learn more.
“I am thrilled to have gone through this process with Picaboo Yearbooks,” Jo shared with me via Zoom meeting from his Princeton, NJ headquarters. “Entourage has always grown through organic growth, so I think growth through acquisition is a great way to build scale.”
“We’re really excited to join the Entourage team,” Miles added when I spoke with him via Zoom from his New Hampshire home. “Both companies share the same mission to reinvent the school yearbook industry for the next generation of yearbook creators and consumers. By combining our teams, we can more effectively deliver on our promise to the marketplace. It’s a great example of two plus two equals five.”
Miles’s company, Picaboo (pronounced PEEK-a-boo) Yearbooks, an offshoot of photo merchandise company Picaboo.com, began in 2013 with the intention of reinventing the school yearbook market. Together with competitor Entourage, they helped to revolutionize the yearbook industry from standard six-week turnaround times to only three weeks; from binding contracts to flexible, non-binding agreements; from long runs to variable quantities for the same price; and from physical books to e-yearbooks and beyond. Over the past nine years, the two companies have each attracted thousands of schools and delivered more than one million yearbooks.
Asked what he believes will be most beneficial for the two businesses coming together, Miles replied: “Our combined scale will create efficiencies and an improved offering, the benefits of which we can share with our customers through improved service, better technology, and competitive pricing. Our production is getting more streamlined, we’re getting better pricing from our print partners, and our sales and service teams are getting stronger by learning from each other and sharing resources. Over the next few years, we’re going to be able to bring more innovation to the market, we’re going to be able to provide higher quality books, and we’re going to continue to provide excellent service.”
For Entourage CEO Elias Jo, common values were among some of the most important reasons for the acquisition. “We bought the business because there’s a lot of common values in terms of how we service our schools, what it takes to make beautiful yearbooks, and how to make a great piece of yearbook software. My goal is to take the best pieces of Picaboo Yearbooks and Entourage to create the very best yearbook offering in the country across the dimensions of technology, people, and customer service. I think the benefit to the industry and to schools is that we intend to provide a higher level of service by building on our scale and also be able to leverage our scale to make sure that we continue to provide the best yearbook prices in the industry. The bigger we are, the better rates we can offer.”
Asked what he is most excited about for the acquisition, Jo replied, “You know, we’re more than a yearbook publishing company. We’re a yearbook technology company. So what we’ve done is taken Entourage’s yearbook software and Picaboo’s yearbook software, and we’re going to put them together to create a yearbook software experience that is unparalleled.”
Combined, Entourage and Picaboo Yearbooks will service over 10,000 schools and deliver millions of books. Entourage will continue to offer yearbooks under the Entourage and Picaboo Yearbooks brand going forward. With this combination, Entourage is well on its way to fulfilling its mission of being the next-generation yearbook for generations to come.