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Updated: Aurality Pivots To Social Gifting Platform Giftery.in

Update: In an effort to provide recommendations, it appears that Giftery.in requires access to almost every information from friend list, email address, birthday, work history, among others from one’s Facebook account. Hat tip @shalombook. This seems like a privacy disaster as people usually tend to share almost everything on Facebook, and granting access to such information could lead to misuse of it.

 Giftery-fb

giftery-logoEarlier: After shutting down its podcasting app Aurality last November, Aurality founder Janhavi Parikh seems to have now launched a online gift card site Giftery.in.

Note that Parikh had stated plans to pivot the company to a new business in November 2012, although she hadn’t disclosed any specific information on this new business. Aurality had raised $300,000 in March 2012 in seed funding from a group of angel investors including Google India MD Rajan Anandan, Vikas Taneja, Indian Angel Network’s Sunil Kalra and Blume Ventures.

When we checked, we noticed that Giftery currently allows users to register on the website through Facebook connect. After registration, the site homepage lists one’s Facebook friends with recent and upcoming birthdays with a quick ‘Gift’ button which allows one to send a gift card.

Alternatively, one can also search for a Facebook friend whom they want to send a gift card and choose any specific occasion for which they need to send the gift card i.e. Wedding Anniversary, Birthday, Wedding, Graduation and seasonal occasions like Mother’s Day among others.

At the time of writing this article, Giftery offers gift cards starting at Rs 500 going up to Rs 11,340. The site currently offers gift cards across various categories like spas, restaurants, and lifestyle stores among others. When we checked, the site offers gift cards from retailers like The Bombay Store, Haathi Chaap, Cheval, Robosoft Systems, The Gourmet Company, among others. Its worth noting that the site primarily offers gift cards for offline retailers rather than online retailers like Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Myntra among others.

The site also seems to have a recommended gifts section, which will apparently suggests gifts based on the user’s likes and interests on Facebook. However the feature didn’t work for us at the time of writing this article. Gift cards are sent via email and the giftee can simply print it out or else mention the code at the shop or the venue.

What’s particularly interesting is the website offers an option to have mutual friends pitch in for the gift. Typically for online gifts, one person from the group pays while other pay back to him/her later, or never. We believe this can be an interesting option when friends want to collaborate and give a group gift. Bitgifting also offers a similar collaborative online gifting platform, through which people can collaborate and contribute funds online.

Competition

Giftery.in will compete with online gifting service Badhai.in which raised $200,000 funding in July 2012 and Giftcart.com which raised $1 million seed investment in May 2012. Flipkart had also recently started accepting International credit cards, allowing international users to send gifts to friends and family in India.

eYantra, a corporate gifting and brand merchandising company, owns a consumer business portal Foostor.com and corporate gifting solutions portal logoprint.in and had acquired Privilege Corner, a corporate rewards & recognition company in January 2012.

Last month, Facebook had also rolled out Facebook Gifts in India, thus allowing Facebook users in India to send offline gifts to people in the US. However, it doesn’t allow users to send gifts to users in India and doesn’t list any Indian businesses on the service yet. It will be interesting to see if Facebook Gifts will impact Giftery.in and other online gifting services if Facebook does roll out the service for Indian users in the future.

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