The San Francisco Bay Area is an entrepreneurial mecca, housing a hot pot of technology startups serving a widespread range of consumer needs.
Giftly is one of San Francisco’s latest innovative tech companies launched earlier this year, setting themselves apart with an innovate way to leverage social networks (think: Facebook and Yelp) to make gift-giving personal, smart, fun, and even quirky!
Haute Living sat down with the SOMA-based startup prior to their recent launch party kick-off.
Founder Tim Bentley started Giflty on a simple premise: to individualize and revolutionize gift-giving. The idea came to him from his own daunting experience of not being able to provide his mother with her favorite gift. “I really wanted to treat my Mom to dinner at Sarducci’s, her favorite restaurant in Vermont, and a movie at the Savoy, the local indie theater. I wanted her to know that I was thinking about her all the way across the country. Nothing existed that felt personal but made this easy, so Giftly was born.”
The concept of local personalization is catching on. In a time when Americans waste over $20 billion a year on gift cards that are discarded, Giftly takes gift-giving to more unique and personal level. Says Bentley, “Think of Giftly as a smarter, more sophisticated version of the traditional gift card. Our mission is to bring meaning and personal connect to gifting, by allowing friends and family to share experiences. For example, instead of purchasing a plant for a friend’s housewarming, you can send them to a great boutique in their new neighborhood. No gift card can offer this kind of intimate customization.”
His vision is resonating in today’s market were consumers want more convenience for their money. Giftlies can literally be used anywhere, at any time—there’s an intimacy and immediacy that couldn’t have existed before—making distance gifting something of a stylized art. On top of that, Giftlies are more economical and more green than traditional gift cards, since they never expire, can’t be lost or forgotten (since they can always be accessed online), and typically reside on email and smart phones.
Haute name brands from Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Michael Kors to smaller boutiques such as Gumps are all on Giftly. Really, any local business on Yelp, and the Giftly team is also working on a series of original and partner-curated Gift Ideas sure to win you over.
Marketing director Nish Nadaraja explains the nuts and bolts of creating a custom Giftly.
1) Just head to Giftly with someone special in mind. Say something charming and sweet about the person in the note section, you can also select a photo of them via Facebook! Then search for and select, say, Louis Vuitton in Union Square. (We let you pick up to three spots per Giftly, so you can add two more; maybe you choose lunch on Maiden Lane, and cocktails somewhere else. It’s up to you.)
2) Send your Giftly via email or Facebook, or you can even print it out. After the person receives the Giftly, they strut right into Louis Vuitton and redeem by logging into begiftly.com on a smartphone. Giftly then sends the gifted amount directly to your credit card. You just pay as you normally would. You don’t have to show the merchant a thing.”