A Giftedd young prospect in the e-commerce space
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The 8200 demo day has come and gone and we told you we’d be doing more in-depth profiles on the 5 companies we felt it worth looking out for. Keeping to our word, here’s the first:

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The 8200 demo day has come and gone and we told you we’d be doing more in-depth profiles on the 5 companies we felt it worth looking out for. Keeping to our word, here’s the first:

Giftedd is an Israeli startup founded in 2012 by Micha Bekuz, Shai Darin and Tal Zuri. An e-commerce facilitator, Giftedd develops gift card widgets for websites of businesses whose operational structure would normally preclude any sort of e-commerce element; think spas, extreme sports, smalltime designers etc.

What impressed me most about the hatchling startup was not so much the idea itself (which is good, not groundbreaking) but rather the execution. On a bootstrapped budget the company is clearly making a go of it. In an interview with co-founder Micha Berkuz, he relayed a few of the milestones Giftedd has managed to hit so far:

To date, over 400 Israeli retail stores are featuring Giftedd’s widget on their sites. An average of 3.3 gift cards are being sold per store, per month, and as far as the Israel theater goes in general, the company is already turning a profit. Not bad for a fresh-out-of-the-gate performance review. Here’s how they’re racking up the numbers:

Giftedd approaches small to midsize business operations who either deal in unshippable products or are too small to invest in their own custom gift promotion solution. Giftedd offers these businesses a white label gift card widget that the companies can rebrand as they see fit. Armed with their shiny new e-commerce option, these businesses can now turn to shoppers who are already browsing their sites and surprise them with the option of purchasing an experiential type product or service in gift card format at a promotional rate.

 Gift planning

Berkuz related that Giftedd is currently in talks with several large third party providers and are on the verge of signing with one of them (although he declined to give details until ink hits paper). Additionally, Giftedd recently soft launched in the US and are planning on opening up a satellite office there in the coming weeks.

With regard to the US, the company is currently seeking $500K in funding to expand their operation and launch an aggressive marketing campaign there, now that they’ve got an operational foothold on their digital shores. Incidentally, I caught Berkuz on the phone as he was walking out of an investor meeting which supposedly went well (will keep you all apprised on this front as it develops).

The kid could be a contender

If Giftedd can grow that 3.3 average and continue their rate of market penetration, we may be looking at Groupon like potential. Catching Groupon might sound a little far fetched, and indeed the crowd-commerce monster can be considered one of Giftedd’s primary competitors, but Giftedd insists their business model places them on a completely different playing field as the bulk-buy sites, targeting customers of a totally different purchasing mindset. Where Groupon and its numerous copycat sites bombard passive consumers with their latest deals, Gifted has no contact with the customer, liaising only with the companies who themselves turn to warm canvas shoppers already surfing their sites.

The advantages to businesses are clear. The widget itself is free and Giftedd’s commission is a flat rate of 8% across all product and service prices. Compare that to Groupon who charges upwards of 50% commission and the questionable consolation selling point of aggressively promoting campaigns in daily-deal type formats. Giftedd certainly has a fighter’s chance to make it big in the vicious space of e-commerce facilitation. Again, it all boils down to execution. Put another way, is Giftedd gifted enough to pull it off? Like any young contender’s climb to the top, it’s a little early to make any predictions but it’s certainly fun to watch.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

 

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Avi Schneider

About Avi Schneider


Global editor and writer for Geektime, author of the book ‘How To Fight For Your Goals: Social Combat Theory’ and the SocialCombatMedia.wordpress blog, founder of Cluboom and former senior writer for Blonde 2.0. Schneider is an orthodox Jew, husband, father, martial artist, writer, speaker – overall Jack of all trades and a master of jack (but working on it).

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