Treatful, the "Anti-Groupon," Brings Online Gift Certificates to Acclaimed Restaurants into the 21st Century
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), we Americans are in the process of spending around $28 billion on gift cards this holiday season, with 80 percent of us choosing to buy at least one, spending an average of $43.23 per card.
There’s nothing new about gift cards, of course, but what is new in 2011 is the effort by a number of local startups to attack the traditional, impersonal sort of card with a new, much more personalized online approach.
Now there’s a fourth to add to the list – Treatful – co-founded by two Stanford business school grads, Brent Looney and Hoon Kim.
Another week, another message from Facebook about which of your friends have birthdays this week. You could post a message to their wall. You could purchase a virtual gift for them -- the very essence of a symbolic act.
Or, starting today, you could join with others in their social network to make a small cash gift ($1-10) that just might add up to a tidy bundle for the recipient of your collective largess.
Meet Giftiki, a collaborative gifting engine that attempts to extend commerce into social media in ways that may just alter gift giving as we’ve known it up until now.
“Your social network is a lot bigger than your wallet,” says CEO Justin Stanislaw. "With Giftiki, you can contribute small amounts of money to a friend and it won’t break the bank. But, along with 20 or 30 others in their network, it will add up to a significant gift for the recipient.”