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The day of the year that’s adored by some and dreaded by others is around the corner. If you don’t have the time or creative capacity to get your significant other something special for Valentine’s Day, or maybe want to try a new and exciting way to surprise a loved one — listen up.
Based in New Dheli, India, and operating across the country, Wishpicker wants to simplify things by calculating what your partner wants (because we never really know, do we?). In a nutshell, the company recommends gifts that it sources from a bunch of other stores across the web by using “complex algorithms”.
Ranging from products, vouchers and experiential items, the platform curates gifts (wrapped in red bows of course) from more than 20 ecommerce outfits including Flipkart, HappilyUnmarried and Ferns N Petals. Many of these online stores are quite niche and quirky, so you’ll be sure to find something interesting and unique.
Your gift results can be filtered to accompany your dusty wallet or your picky girl- or boyfriend’s needs, and Wishpicker’s gift recommendations can also be made based on the likes and interests of the recipient’s Facebook account.
According to Flipkart, India’s ecommerce industry has grown by 80% in 2013 and is predicted to continue doing so for the next five years. Wishpicker gets the cream of the crop. Out of the 20 companies it currently supports, it offers products ranging from romantic bouquets and chocolates to novels, fancy clothes and gaming consoles without the need of having a physical store. Everything is in the cloud.
“Wishpicker fills in a huge gap in India’s market by solving the first step in the gifting value chain — figuring out what to gift,” says co-founder Prateek Rathore.
Once a user decides on a gift, they’re redirected to the partner ecommerce site where the transaction is then made. For now, Wishpicker’s primary revenue model is getting paid commission by partner sites on every transaction referred.
Rathore says, “The online gifting market is about 12-15% of the total e-retail market. Most of this takes place on vanilla ecommerce sites — both niche (Ferns N Petals) and horizontal (Flipkart, Snapdeal), and hence these are our biggest competitors.”
Rathore, an IIT graduate, studied at the IE Business School in Spain and later joined up with co-founder Apurv Bansal to launch this service that would help people figure out what presents to give. While being in an “advanced stage of talks” of funding this year, the founders have managed to raise US$25,000 from their personal savings thus far.
Asked about the biggest obstacles Wishpicker is facing, Rathore said that finding the right team or partners for your startup was crucial to its success. “Without a great team, your business is destined to fail,” he says. “During our initial months, we made sure that we didn’t compromise on work culture and ethics when hiring someone, even if it meant a short term delay on some front.”
Founded in June 2013, Wishpicker has launched out of beta in November last year and is set to make loved ones across India extremely happy. The current market include local Indians as well as expats between the ages 15 and 40 but the company is expected to expand soon with a global audience with similar demographics.