The entire gifting process can be painful and worthless – both for the one giving the gift and the one receiving it. When gifting, you may not know what to give and when receiving, you may end up with absolutely irrelevant items.
AskMyGift, an app that makes the entire gifting process easier, said it has raised $50000 (about Rs 30 lakh) in a pre-seed round from Ashish Mittal, Chief Mentor of TurningIdeas incubator and an angel investor. The startup also announced it is an advanced stage of talks with a few VC firms to raise around Rs. 2 crore in seed funding.
According to AskMyGift, Founder, Sumeet Aggarwal, from shopping to hailing a cab, from ordering food to addressing your grievances, today, there is an app for almost everything. “However, there is currently no app for something as personal as gifting in the country. AskMyGift is an app that looks to solve problems around what to gift, how to gift and in short -making gifts more meaningful,” says Aggarwal.
The startup carried out a survey and found that 78 per cent of the respondents have at some point of their life received irrelevant gifts. “For example, the top gifting option for an anniversary was dinner sets, wall clocks, and bed covers and the people receiving them admitted that in most cases, they never use it and passed it on as a gift to someone else,” says Aggarwal.
According to AskMyGift, gifting is around $30 billion industry in India and out of that about $ 20 billion is personal gifting, which is exchanging gifts for a personal event. There are, then, gifting around social events, which takes place around different festivals. “The team wanted to solve the dilemma for millions of people about what to gift,” says Ashish Mittal, Chief Mentor and Angel Investor in a statement.
AskMyGift’s idea is to enable users to come up with a unified gift registry where they post what they want – which can be a product, a service or an even a moment. The startup has already tied up with leading etailers such as Flipkart, Amazon etc. and offline retailers in multiple product categories.
For example, if you are walking down a shopping mall and come across a product that you really like, you should have the option to post the picture of the product in your wish list. “Our app allows you to create this unified wish list for gifts – offline, online, and across merchants. This means it is not restricted to a Flipkart, Amazon or a Snapdeal etc. in the online world and similarly not to a Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop etc . in the offline world. On the offline space, users have the ability to take pictures and enter the product detail and tag it to a store. The app works seamlessly across channels to help you create a list that you can share with your friends and family, who in return can gift you something that you want,” says Rahul Rathore, who is part of the core team.
Aggarwal says getting the online play is straightforward as the user is able to browse across multiple e-tailers and then create a wish list easily. A user can also scan a barcode and upload it via the app to create the wish list. “What we intend to launch in the future is to enable stores and offline retailers to deliver the gift once selected to the recipient. For example, if you want to gift a nice shirt from any store to your friend,
Here’s how it works for a consumer:
1) AskMyGift creates a list of the gifts someone wants. This means the app creates a gift registry that brings relevancy to gifting because the gifts should be of some utility to the one receiving it rather than passing it on.
2) Users can create a wish list by taking a picture and keying in the product detail and tag it to a store. A user can also scan a barcode and upload it via the app to create the wish list.
3) The user can disseminate his wish list through the public or a private way. A public post is when everyone can view the wish and this happens through a Facebook post. If the user wants to share it with a restricted number of people, it can be through Whatsapp, text messages or an email.
4) If someone is interested, they would be redirected to the AskMyGift app where they can view the complete wish list along with the products and the name of the store.
Relevance for offline world:
Aggarwal says the app has another benefit, especially for the offline stores. Retail stores often struggle to make their products discoverable and visible to a wider audience. “For offline stores and retailers AskMyGift provides a new medium to reach out to consumers and a new channel to sell. Through the app, every offline store can get a sizeable online presence in the form of potential customers. The app would also enable stores to make sales more lucrative by enabling special discount schemes for consumers, thereby enriching the customer experience and boosting sales,” says Aggarwal.
“Technology has made life easier for everyone AskMyGift as an app has the potential to make the process easier and more meaningful. It allows users to do away with gifts that make little sense to them and for the one’s gifting, to not spend hours in thinking what’s relevant. For the stores, it is a great way to have an omni-channel presence, increase discoverability and increase sales at no extra cost,” says Mittal.
The startup has released the app with the festive season of Diwali in mind. The app is currently available on the Android platform, but will be soon available on iOS within a month.