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Let’s say you’re getting married and that you’ve asked your guests for money so that you can buy something big. They could bring cash, but that’s not safe or they could transfer the money into your bank account, but then it doesn’t feel like much of a gift. A new South African startup called Candystick is aiming to fix that.
Candystick’s primary product is called Candybox, which the company describes as an “online money box where your friends, family, colleagues or anyone else can contribute towards an occasion or a group gift”.
According to the company, the service can be used for everything from weddings and babyshowers, to stag and hen nights and farewells.
It also seems to have put a fair amount of effort into making the process as simple as possible. Once you’ve signed up, you can create a Candybox and invite people to contribute. When all the contributions have been gathered, the Candybox can be gifted to the intended recipient. From there, it can be spent online at a Candystick partner site or transferred into an account, minus a transaction fee.
In its philosophy, the company explains how it plans to set itself apart. “We understand the importance and intimacy of the experiences, and know that beyond the gift itself, it’s a symbol for a relationship between a group of people and the lucky recipient,” it says.
While the concept behind Candystick may be new to South Africa, there are a number of companies with similar operations in the rest of the world. To a large degree though those services, including Givted, Gift Gather, and Aggregift are aimed at people making requests for gifts for objects and experiences that they want.
Of course, it is possible for people to do that on Candystick too, but its real promise seems to be in organising large gift-boxes for other people.
The minimum contribution accepted by Candystick is R50, with a maximum of R10 000.
While setting up a Candybox is free, contributing comes with a R5 transaction charge. It’ll be interesting to see how happy South Africans are to pay that and how long it’ll be before someone comes up with a way of offering the same service at a lower cost.
One advantage that Candystick has right now is that spending at its partners has no transaction fee. Once the Candybox reaches its maturity date, you can see everyone who contributed and send individual thanks yous or a mass thank you to everyone.