Gift cards aggregator GiftCardsIndia (GCI) has raised an undisclosed amount in funding led by Blume Ventures and Google India managing director, Rajan Anandan, reports DealCurry. The company also announced that it has acquired another Blume backed gifting company, Giftery.
The company plans to use the funds to expand its team, develop new products and increase its reach. GiftCardsIndia was launched four years ago by Firoz Khan, CEO of the GCI Network, and Cory York, CEO and co-founder at Powerstores.
Started in 2011, GCI began selling gift vouchers and certificates. Since then the business has evolved to include products, technology and distribution in the prepaid vertical. GCI claims that it has partnered with over 300 brands to empower their prepaid products within GCI’s 25,000 points of sale distribution network and also created its own prepaid products. GCI also says it has sold over 250,000 pre paid cards in less than 4 years totaling over $5 million in top line sales.
Giftery founder Janhavi Parikh used to run a podcasting application called Aurality and then decided to shut it down and then pivot the business towards gifting. 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.
DealCurry adds that GCI is is targeting sales of Rs 100 crore in the next two years.
The gifting space seems to be picking up steam and here are some of the developments we’ve seen:
- Snapdeal has acquired gift recommendation portal Wishpicker.com for an undisclosed amount. Wishpicker recommends gifts to users based on parameters like relationship with the recipient, their age, and personality among others. Users can also find gift suggestions based on Facebook likes and interests of recipient.
- Online gifting and events stationery company Inksedge has secured $1.5 million in seed funding from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with participation from Pinnacle Ventures, Milliways Ventures & angel investors like Vuclip founder & CEO Nickhil Jakatdar, Gokul Rajaram, Mark Perry and Anil Kamath.
- Gift recommendation engine Giveter.com had raised seed funding of less than $500,000 from Anand Lunia’s India Quotient, Pearl Uppal & Gaurav Kachru’s 5ideas Startup Superfuel and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, in December last year. It has tie-ups with e-tailers like Flipkart, Jabong, BlueStone.com, Koovs, FirstCry, LimeRoad, Amazon India, and Nykaa among others.
- Online gifting platform Giftxoxo.com has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Mumbai-based Kshatriya Ventures last year. Giftxoxo.com was founded in 2012 and claims to have 150 clients across India including Flipkart, Jabong, Yebhi, MakeMyTrip and Dominos, among others. It provides personal as well as corporate gift products in categories such as occasions, flowers, cakes, chocolates and gift vouchers, among others.