The App that Keeps on Giving

With Giftagram, you can give a gift with the push of a button. Users can send gifts to people with only a phone number, rather than a physical address. The recipient receives a text with the gift information and then decides the delivery location. The mobile platform launched in Los Angeles on November 1st.

Co-Founder Jason Reid explains, “We’re a marketplace for best-in-class retailers and brands to sell their product, and from a user side, we’re a really easy way to send a gift to somebody in two clicks, using your iPhone or iPad.”

Giftagram features curated gift categories offering everything books to baby accessories, and localized gift options for people in Toronto, Vancouver, and now Los Angeles. Giftagram launched in Canada in 2013, and currently has more than 100 third party retail partners. Reid says he developed the idea for the platform after watching Uber launch in Toronto in 2012.

“They had done such an incredible job building a great user experience with a super simple to use mobile platform. That was really the lightbulb that went off for me around mobile commerce and Giftagram began to incubate as an idea.”

Reid, who has a background working in finance for early stage tech media companies in the gaming, digital, mobile and e-commerce spaces, spent time over the next year soundboarding the idea and getting feedback. He then partnered with a technologist he had previously worked with to build a beta version of Giftagram, which launched on iOS in Toronto just before Christmas of 2013.

Giftagram lrgThe software development process has been the biggest surprise thus far. Reid says when working with his CTO, he gains a new appreciation for the technology behind great products.

“In a way, the simpler and more streamlined you want the transaction to be, the more complicated it is on the backend, and we continue to evolve our technology on the backend and it’s definitely part of how we get to know our users better. It’s surprising how complicated it is, and how quickly it is evolving.”

The platform features a range of categories, and Giftagram places an emphasis on local selections.

“As retail evolves, local players need to find unique ways to stay relevant and trying to compete and get awareness in such a busy environment of retail, with online and big block stores and everything they’re up against. We see small business as a good partnership with us. We drive value for them and they help merchandise our marketplace with really cool, unique gifts.”

The current Giftagram userbase is about 60/40 female to male.

“The users we see right now are usually style-conscious young professionals, people that are always looking for that next new thing. Some of our bigger users are those in a corporate sales environment, or marketing space. A lot of people are using it as a business relationship tool.”

Reid says his personal favorite gifts are experience-based, and recalls his favorite recent gift was an outing to drive exotic cars on a racetrack. And when it comes to gift-giving advice, Reid suggests to check for inspiration on Giftagram.

“We have really style-savvy industry leaders that are helping us curate awesome products. Even if you’re not buying on Giftagram, you should definitely check it out because you’ll find a whole bunch of ideas of great products at different price points.”

Would you send a gift through an app to your mother? Your S.O.? Tell us how you would use Giftagram by Tweeting @StarterNoise and using #Giftagram.

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