Social gifting service unwraps $5.5 million in funding
Skype co-founder leads the round and joins the board at Stockholm-based Wrapp, which lets friends and family give, receive, and redeem digital gift cards using their mobile devices. The money will be used to launch the service in the U.S. and U.K.
Stockholm-based Wrapp, a social gifting service that lets you give friends on Facebook actual gifts, today announced it has raised $5.5 million led by Atomico. Atomico is an international venture capital firm created by Niklas Zennström, the co-founder of Skype.
Created for Facebook and smartphone users, Wrapp lets friends and family give, receive, and redeem digital gift cards using their mobile devices. There's also a feature that allows people to contribute to gift card amounts for group giving.
Certificates are available for 15 partner retailers, including Sweden's largest sporting goods retailer Stadium, designer underwear brand Björn Borg (the underwear retailer formerly known as a tennis player), clothing brand WeSC, and home improvement chain Clas Ohlson. Retailers featured on Wrapp get advertisement when friends post gifts to friends' walls. This will also be the way Wrapp gets the word out that it exists.
Wrapp makes money by taking a cut of the total redemption amount after the gift card is used. If the card isn't used, Wrapp doesn't get anything.
If you're not in Sweden or don't have friends in Sweden, don't go rushing to test Wrapp's gift app. It is currently only available for giving gifts to people in Sweden, where Wrapp has just finished proof-of-concept testing and a commercial launch. Wrapp will use the $5.5 million to launch the service in the United States and United Kingdom.
This is the first formal round of funding for Wrapp, which raised seed funding earlier in 2011 from Creandum, a Nordic venture firm. Creandum also participated in this first formal funding round.
Wrapp's team joined forces in 2011. It is lead by Hjalmar Winbladh, the co-founder of Sendit, one of the first mobile Internet companies. Winbladh took Sendit public in 1997 before it was acquired by Microsoft. In 2006 Winbladh co-founded Rebtel, an independent mobile VoIP company. Winbladh created Wrapp with Andreas Ehn, Spotify's founding chief technology officer. Also on Wrapp's team are Carl Fritjofsson, former strategy adviser to Groupon.se; Aage Reerslev, founder of mobile browser Squace; and Fabian Mansson, former CEO of H&M and Eddie Bauer.
I'm in the U.S. but I already have Wrapp on my iPhone and use it daily. That's because every morning it sends me an alert for who is having a birthday. Before I do anything else on my phone, before I even unlock it, I see who is having a birthday. It has saved me from missing several friends' birthdays. I send them text messages or give them calls rather than writing on their Facebook walls, which seems a bit more personal.
It will be interesting to see how Wrapp propels the spirit of gift giving. The company hopes to expand beyond birthdays and create a gift-giving platform for everyday events. Wrapp wants gift giving to be a daily act. "Happy Monday!" could be a theme, as could "I was just thinking about you and thought you could use a new pair of Björn Borg undies."