Digital card and gifting platform Givingli nabs $10M • TechCrunch
Three years ago, Ben and Nicole Greene were planning their wedding and decided to use digital records to save money and materials. But when it came time to give gifts to others, while they preferred to go the digital route – as they did at their wedding – they found that digital gift platforms on the web did not meet their standards.
“We’ve noticed that there isn’t a platform we’d really like to use,” Nicole Green told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Together, I realized there was a gap in the marketplace for finding a more authentic and authentic way for people to connect and celebrate each other in the digital age.”
So in 2019, Ben and Nicole co-founded GivenlyAn online gifting service that allows users to personalize digital greetings and send gifts to anyone. The company announced today that it has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Seven Seven Six, the venture capital firm founded by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, with the participation of Shopify co-founder and CEO Toby Lutke. The proceeds bring the total of the 13-person Los Angeles-based company to $13 million.
“We’re doubling down on Givingli’s efforts because they have not only continued to grow organically, but they have continued to thrive—even during these uncertain times—by producing kindness and connection,” Ohanian told TechCrunch by email. “This is as much a social network as it is a gifting platform and it is of value to all parties: the artists who design the gifts, the brands who are partners, and ultimately the gift givers and recipients who keep coming back and spreading the word.”
In fact, Nicole sees Givingli as more than the average digital gift market. The service offers messaging features, including group chats with family and friends, who can interact with appreciation codes for e-cards and e-gifts. Users receive birthday reminders for friends and families. And for the cards, which can be shared via email, text or social media, customers can choose from designs contributed by independent artists and brand partners like Starbucks, Nike and Target — and add their own photos or videos as well as write text.
In 2020, Givingli launched a partnership with Snap that brought the gifting service within Snapchat via an in-app integration. The company’s current focus is on an early, soon-to-be desktop app, which Nicole says will “provide more features for premium gift givers.” (Previously Givingli was iOS only.)
“People are looking for accessible, practical options to keep in touch and celebrate a special relationship in their lives. They look forward to sharing love and words of sympathy from afar,” Nicole said. .”
Will platforms like Givingli replace physical gifting? This seems unlikely (see American Greetings). But there are signs that the demand for digital gift solutions is increasing. A June 2022 survey from Incisiv – sponsored by digital gift seller GiftNow, awarded – have found 67% of consumers prefer instant digital gifts. Allied Market Research Estimates The digital gift card market alone reached $258.34 billion in 2020.
Givingli earns money by charging users a monthly subscription fee to access the platform, as well as additional fees for premium cards. Nicole would not comment on revenue but said that “millions” of people have used the service so far.
“The pandemic has speeded things up and we’re moving quickly to keep up,” Nicole said. “We will use this latest funding round to create more of this value for all members of our community – from loyal and everyday users to our trusted brand and loyal partners, with coveted cards and gifts on the platform.”