Excl: Gifting portal Giftcart.com receives $1M as seed capital from TekCorp, launches in private beta
At Techcircle.in, we are always on the lookout for interesting startups. So when we got the whiff of a new player entering the e-commerce arena, we got right on top of it. The new entrant is Giftcart Ecommerce Pvt Ltd and the company has launched its website today in private beta. The brand new gifting portal is christened Giftcart.com.
Headquartered in Delhi, Giftcart is a portfolio company of TekCorp and it received $1 million as seed capital last month to develop the portal platform, implement business/customer processes and build a supply chain. The company will look to raise more funds in the next six months.
The company has been set up by Shaloo Reddi (managing director) and Kristina Hermanns (director & GM for customer experience) on April 18, 2012, and it is targeting both Indian residents and NRIs who want to send gifts to their friends and families in India. Prior to starting Giftcart.com, Shaloo had worked for a couple of technology ventures at the strategic level. She has graduated from Delhi University and did her masters in English. Kristina had earlier worked as a consultant and was part of Intelenet and Orbitz, handling client engagements, quality assurance and contact centre operations. She has more than 10 years of expertise in travel, airlines and contact centre ops.
Giftcart is also looking to fill top posts like president and experience executive officer (EEO), VP â€“ marketing and VP â€“ technology.
So how would Giftcart help potential users? According to Sahil Sahni, marketing manager at Giftcart, "On an average, an individual purchases around 50 gifts a year, but while trying to find the right present, most of us are in a quandary on every occasion. Giftcart.com will help them solve that problem"
The site and its offerings
The site is still in private beta, which means it can be accessed by invitation only. We contacted the company for the same but are yet to receive one. So here is what we could gather as of now.
The site offers gifts for men, women, teens, kids and even babies, and these include a wide range of products â€“ right from mobile phones, cameras and camcorders, beauty products, jewellery and watches, fragrances and fashion accessories to birth stones (pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, etc.), books, collectibles and home decor items. Unique gifts, such as a 'limousine ride' or 'tee time' at a golf course, are also available.
The gifts can be filtered by occasion, category, recipient, type, feature, brands and price. The company is also offering additional options like gifting according to personality (for men, the options include Mr Stylish, fanatical fan, liberal and cool, etc.) and zodiac signs (PDAs, hard drives and webcams are suggested gifts for Gemini people). A section on the homepage also features 'gift ideas', suggesting suitable gifts for a recipient (like mobile phones for men), and 'bestsellers'. A gift wizard tool has also been provided that allows the user to find suitable gifts (according to set parameters).
Last time we checked it, the brands featured on the site included Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia and BlackBerry (for mobile handsets); Dell, HP, Sony and Toshiba (PC brands); Braun, Morphy Richards, Belkin, Fastrack, Bajaj, Canon, Hugo Boss and some more premium brands like Dolce & Gabanna, Gucci and Calvin Klein.
According to Shaloo, the company has already tied up with around 60 brands (both Indian and international) but it will introduce the products in a phased manner, starting with just seven categories (for example, precious stones won't be available at first).
All the regular payment options are available on the site (net banking, debit/credit cards) and the company is also offering cash on delivery (COD) for people who want to deliver the gifts personally. However, COD won't be available for expensive items like precious stones). Shipping is free and every package comes gift-wrapped. However, buyers can opt for custom wraps and packaging (but it will cost you extra, depending on the wrapping you want).
The company has also created a Facebook contest (with ongoing lucky draws until August 10, 2012) to understand the gifting trends in India. According to Shaloo Reddi, the site will go live once the contest is over. Interestingly, we have also found a gifting portal called Gift-cart.com but it is not related to Giftcart.