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Giftxoxo acqui-hires leisure activities planner Yipeedo

From L to R: Sumit Khandelwal, Kushal Agarwal, Manoj Agarwal, Dhiraj Kathuria and Shalini Nautiyal

From L to R: Sumit Khandelwal, Kushal Agarwal, Manoj Agarwal, Dhiraj Kathuria and Shalini Nautiyal

Online gifting platform Giftxoxo.com has acqui-hired Yipeedo, a recommendation engine that assists city dwellers to discover and book leisure activities.

Giftxoxo, run by Bangalore-based Nreach Online Services Pvt Ltd, said Yipeedo co-founders Shalini Nautiyal and Dhiraj Kathuria will join the company.

Shalini and Kathuria will lead the product and operations team at Frogo, Giftxoxo’s recently launched mobile app for leisure activity bookings.

“Together, we look forward to taking the combined entity to new heights,” said Sumit Khandelwal, co-founder of Giftxoxo.

Acqui-hire refers to the buy-out of a company primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff, rather than for its products or services.

Yipeedo, which was launched last year, helps users to manage multiple activities and assists them with in-city planning. Earlier this year, startup accelerator VentureNursery picked Yipeedo for its seventh accelerator programme.

Before co-founding Yipeedo, Shalini worked with IT firms Infosys and HCL. Kathuria was associated with Goldman Sachs and Symantec prior to Yipeedo.

The Frogo app allows users to book cycle tours, swimming, yoga sessions, swordsmanship classes, cookery workshops and paintball sessions, among other activities. About 200 vendors are already listed on its app, the company claims.

Giftxoxo recently launched mobile app for leisure activity bookings

Giftxoxo recently launched mobile app for leisure activity bookings

Giftxoxo was founded by Khandelwal, Manoj Agarwal, Abhishek Kumar and Kushal Agrawal. Khandelwal holds an MBA from TA Pai Management Institute, Manipal, and has worked with companies such as Hexaware, Wipro Consumer Care and Metro. Manoj Agarwal is an MBA graduate from IIM Kozhikode and had started Tawa, a restaurant in Bangalore, before joining Giftxoxo. Kumar, who also co-founded e-commerce portal Evening Flavors, is an IIT Bombay alumnus while Kushal Agarwal studied at Pune’s Vishwakarma Institute of Technology.

Giftxoxo, which started in April 2012, had raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Mumbai-based Kshatriya Ventures in 2013.

Activity-based startups seem to be capturing investor attention. Brigge, an activity-based social network that also allows users to discover people with similar interests, had recently raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from The Chennai Angels.

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