2019’s sure been a year. For South Africa, that means extreme highs and depressing lows, but one things for sure, the country didn’t stop…
Gyft, the digital gift card platform that enables consumers to buy, send, manage and redeem gift cards via their mobile devices, has announced today that it has raised additional capital from new investors. Those investors are A-Grade Investments, The Social+Capital Partnership, Karlin Ventures, Haas Portman and angel investor and CEO of Yammer, David O. Sacks. This comes in the wake of last year’s seed round the company received from Google Ventures, Founder Collective and 500 Startups at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012.
The Gyft platform leverages the existing gift card market by digitising existing “plastic gift cards” and digitised cards, giving customers a way to manage all their gift card needs. Gyft has social integration built into the platform, incorporating Facebook, for card distribution and gifting.
It’s approach to tap into the existing market, which is an annual US$100-billion market in the USA alone, has gotten actor and co-owner of A-Grade Investments, Ashton Kutcher’s attention. “We invest in technology startups, like Gyft that show innovation and promise,” says Kutcher. “There is a mobile shift and Gyft is on a mission to digitise the US$100-billion gift card market.”
The funding will be used to continue product development and scale the business to meet the future demand for growth. Gyft currently works with more than 300 retailers around the USA, and will keep adding merchants and partners to that list. It plans to expand to markets outside of the USA next year, and this round of funding will be integral to those plans.
Gyft COO and co-founder, CJ MacDonald, says that Gyft is always on the lookout for ways to increase the platform’s value for merchants and consumers alike. In the past year, there have been more than 200 000 plastic gift cards uploaded to Gyft, to the value of more than US$10-million. Gyft is currently seeing a new gift card added to the platform every two minutes.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen continued growth and are on track to hit US$5-million in digital gift card sales this year,” says South African-born Gyft CEO and co-founder Vinny Lingham. “Traditionally more than 50% of annual gift card sales occur in the fourth quarter so we are excited about the future.”
Gyft has done well to access the existing gift card market in the United States, where about US$20-billion goes unspent annually due to loss, forgetfulness, or just the inconvenience of plastic gift cards.
Gyft has recently updated its website, and purchases can now be made on the website or right from the Gyft app (Google play, iTunes). One of the latest features added to the platform is a Gift Card Registry, that allows users to personalise registries for everything from weddings to birthdays, baby showers and holidays.