Along with retail eCommerce, online gift buying inevitably emerged as a viable space. Where every portal offers an option to send their purchase as a gift, several sites like FnP, Giveter, Wishpicker etc. exist solely for sending gifts. Taking onto this opportunity in an innovative way is a Bangalore based startup Giftxoxo.
Founded in May 2012, by Sumit Khandelwal, Manoj Agarwal, Kushal Agrawal and Abhishek Kumar, Giftxoxo is a platform where a user can book an experience to gift to their loved ones. These experiences range from adventure sports to hobby classes to meals at restaurants and spa sessions.
Talking about the idea to start Giftxoxo, company co-founder Sumit said, “While Manoj was handling marketing at Flipkart, he took to drive the gifting vertical also out of interest. He saw gifting contributing very well to the overall revenues. However, customers still had some unmet needs in terms of elegant packaging, choice, customization and novelty in gifting. This is when he took the plunge. I was following some interesting trends in gifting market in the US and Europe then. Together we started Giftxoxo in 2012. Kushal and Abhishek joined 3 months later later to bring the best of of the company.”
Further talking about the story behind the name of the company, the team said, “We thought a lot about the name in early 2012. We tried many and did a closed group survey too. We also checked that many names we liked were already blocked by someone else. Giftxoxo, came across during a dinner chat and somehow the name xoxo came up. We checked this with some 100 people and everyone kind of liked it. ‘XOXO’ is used as slang for hugs and kisses. Giftxoxo purports to mean Gift with love and affection and that is how we came up with this name.”
Its parent company Nreach online services has two gifting brands in its portfolio- Giftxoxo website and Frogo mobile app.
What key features is the startup offering?
It helps a user discover best experiences that can be gifted. The startup provides real time booking. The highly fragmented supplier side is being managed through its own technology platform. It also provides an option of location based discovery and booking through the mobile app.
The startup provides experience across various sectors such as health & wellness, hobbies & activities, adventure, gourmet etc. A user can choose the interest type, place and value of the package. The user can also gift experiences like F1, clay pottery, baking cakes among other activities.
As the team says, “Some examples that are very popular are Microlight plane flying Experience and Dinner under helipad, Dinner on a Yacht and Vineyard tour, Limousine ride with dinner in a 5 star hotel and drive on F1 track, Horse riding session along with a barbecue dinner and stable management.”
What is the market size, opportunity and competition?
“Market size of experiences and activities is over $10 billion. This is spread across various categories like wellness, hobbies, arts, learning, travel, gourmet, adventure, etc,” said the team. The startup competes with Giveter, Giftbig, Indiangiftsportal, Gifts2India, BuddyGifting, Wishpicker, Giftology, Experience Box, Delight Gifts, etc.
Present Status and Future Goals:
The startup raised a seed round in early 2013. And presently it is in talks with investors to raise another round soon.
The company enables both personal (business to consumer) as well as corporate (business to business) gifting and claims to have around 150 clients across India. A user can also send gifts from India to other countries, using the site.
It claims to work with over 400 corporates in India, mostly MNCs and has a consumer base of over 1 lakh who transact regularly. Some of its corporate clientele includes Aircel, Aviva, Cisco, HDFC, Inmobi, Lenovo, Nielsen,Titan, Tata Steel, etc. The startup makes money through commission from its service providers.
Company has its headquarter in Bangalore and its regional offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. They have plans to expand to more cities soon.
The company has recently launched their Android mobile app Frogo. It is an on-demand app to order gifts or make booking.
Talking about future, the team says, “We plan to expand our presence in other cities of India and strive to keep building on our technology and services so as to provide a better customer experience to all our users.”
Concluding the talk, Co-founder Kushal Agrawal in a message to aspiring budding entrepreneurs said, “Research well before you get on with something. Plan well, execute, iterate fast and get your business model right. Customers, funding and revenue will follow if your deliverables are good.”