ISTANBUL--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wrapp, the first company to make gift cards a social networking experience that drives in-store and online sales for retailers, is now in the final stages of pre-launch activities with some of Turkey’s most popular merchants.
Wrapp makes it fun and easy for consumers to give, receive and redeem gift cards using mobile devices or the Web, and allows their Facebook friends to contribute to the presents.
For merchants, Wrapp is a proven customer acquisition and retention platform for conducting discount-free performance-based campaigns. With Wrapp, retailers use friend-to-friend marketing to drive highly targeted in-store and on-line sales, and get real-time access to aggregated campaign and customer demographic data.
“On your birthday or important events, family and your closest friends used to call or they sent a text,” said Cem Kemal Mimaroğlu, Wrapp’s country manager for Turkey. “Now you get hundreds of notes on your wall or timeline from well wishers, because Facebook reminds us, and has made it really simple to celebrate our friends. Wrapp is here to make it just as simple to give a gift of real value.”
Wrapp began its unique form of social gifting in Sweden in last November. In January this year Wrapp received $10.5 million in Series A funding from Greylock Partners and Atomico resulting in LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström joining Wrapp’s board of directors. In March Wrapp took its service to Norway and the U.K., and earlier this month opened offices in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.
“Consumers love Wrapp because it lets you keep gift cards in your phone, so they’re always handy when you see something they really want buy,” said Hjalmar Winbladh, Wrapp’s CEO. “And retailers love Wrapp because we’re giving them a new and innovative way to leverage the power and trust that exists between friends – what we call friend-to-friend marketing – and for a fraction of the cost of traditional and online advertising, promotion or customer acquisition. Wrapp is classic win-win.”
During the last four months more than 170,000 Wrapp active users have given their Facebook friends over 1.4 million free gift cards that could be redeemed in stores operated by nearly 60 top retailers in Europe.
Participating merchants report that each sale averages four to six times the value of the free gift card they let Wrapp users give to their friends.
Wrapp was founded last year by Winbladh and a small team of entrepreneurs, including Andreas Ehn, Spotify’s first chief technology officer; Magnus Hult, who played a key role in building Spotify’s original technology and platform; Aage Reerslev, founder of mobile browser maker Squace; Leo Giertz, founder of Barefoot Hackers, one of Sweden’s most acclaimed iPhone development shops; Carl Fritjofsson, strategy advisor to Groupon.se; and Fabian Månsson, former CEO of H&M and Eddie Bauer, who now serves as Wrapp’s chairman. Winbladh co-founded Sendit, the first mobile Internet company, where he served as CEO, and took it public in 1997, before being acquired by Microsoft. In 2006 Winbladh co-founded Rebtel, now the world's largest independent mobile VoIP company, where he continues as chairman.
“Our active users around the world validate that people want to make giving gifts of real value an everyday event among friends, and don’t want to limit it to just birthdays, holidays or other big occasions,” said Winbladh. “Everyone likes to be recognized and celebrated. Popular retailers are providing the free gift cards. All you have to do is choose one and send it to a friend. No strings attached.”
Wrapp will soon be available in the U.S. and Turkey, and is now working to partner with the best-of-category retailers to help them strengthen their customer retention efforts. In the meantime, to start sending free gift cards to friends and family in the U.K., Norway or Sweden, download the Wrapp mobile app from Apple’s App Store, the Android Market, or use the web app at www.wrapp.com, and connect it to your Facebook account.
Wrapp is a social gifting service for celebrating friends’ occasions with free and paid gifts from attractive brands. Wrapp allows friends to contribute to gifts, and makes it fun and easy to give, receive and redeem using mobile devices and the web. Founded in the first half of 2011 by a group of serial entrepreneurs, Wrapp is based in Stockholm and Silicon Valley. Celebrate with friends every day at www.wrapp.com.