In today’s time we have an app for almost everything – whether it’s shopping, hailing a cab, ordering food or addressing our grievances. But when it comes to personal gifting, the space is left blank. According to the figures, gifting industry in India is around $30 billion and out of this about $20 billion is personal gifting. To cater this untapped market, Sumeet Aggarwal founded AskMyGift.
AskMyGift is an answer to questions like, what to gift and how to gift by making gifting experience more meaningful. “We carried out a survey and found that 78 per cent of the respondents have, at some point of their life, received irrelevant gifts. For most of us the top gifting option for anniversary are dinner sets, wall clocks, and bed covers. The people receiving these admitted that, in most cases, they never use it and passed it on as a gift to someone else. AskMyGift’s idea is to enable users to come up with a unified gift registry, where they post what they want - which can be a product, a service or an even a moment,” said Aggarwal.
Owned and operated under Noida-based Futuregifting Eventures Private Limited, the startup has recently raised $50K (around Rs 30 lakh) in angel funding led by early stage angel fund Turning Ideas. The venture is further in talks with few VC firms to raise another round of about Rs 2 crore. The venture will use this amount to tie up with brick-and-mortar gift stores in the Delhi-NCR region and to strengthen their marketing strategies.
Commenting on the investment, Ashish Mittal, Chief Mentor, Turning Ideas and Angel Investor, said, “Technology has made life easier for everyone. AskMyGift as an app has the potential to make the process easier and more meaningful. It allows users to do away with gifts that make little sense to them and for the one’s gifting, to not spend hours in thinking what’s relevant. For the stores, it is a great way to have an omni-channel presence, increase discoverability and increase sales at no extra cost.”
Connecting offline world to online
The 3 months old startup is not only relevant to online, but it is also of great importance to offline stores. Through the app, every offline store can get a sizeable online presence in the form of potential customers. The app would also enable stores to make sales more lucrative by enabling special discount schemes for consumers, thereby enriching the customer experience and boosting sales. “With this, we intend to enable stores and offline retailers to deliver the gift once selected to the recipient. For example, if you want to gift a nice shirt from any store to your friend, you should be able to get the store to deliver that gift and make the payment through the app,” said Aggarwal.
Incubated at Turning Ideas, AskMyGift has already tied up with leading e-tailers like Flipkart, Amazon etc. and offline retailers in multiple product categories.
How it works?
AskMyGift creates a gift registry. Users can create a wish list by taking a picture and keying in the product detail and tag it to a store. A user can also scan a barcode and upload it via the app to create the wish list. Further, users can disseminate their wish list through the public or a private way. A public post is when everyone can view the wish and this happens through a Facebook post. If the user wants to share it with a restricted number of people, it can be through Whatsapp, text messages or an email. If someone is interested, they would be redirected to the AskMyGift app, where they can view the complete wish list along with the products and the name of the store.
“Our app allows you to create this unified wish list for gifts – offline, online, and across merchants. This means, it is not restricted to Flipkart, Amazon or Snapdeal etc. in the online world and similarly not to a Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop etc. in the offline world. On the offline space, users have the ability to take pictures and enter the product details and tag it to a store. The app works seamlessly across channels to help you create a list that you can share with your friends and family, who in return can gift you something that you want,” explained Rahul Rathore, part of the core team.
The app is currently available on the Android platform, but will be available on iOS within a month.
It is not only AskMyGift who is catering into this space. Startup like GiftCardsIndia, Wishpicker.com and many more are also tapping this segment. Last year in December, GiftCardsIndia, an online gifting platform had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Blume Ventures and Rajan Anandan, Google India head. Snapdeal acquired Wishpicker.com, an online platform that offers users gift options in December last year.