We have introduced you Gruphediye.com as a startup that enables sending gifts to friends as a group before. Now the startup has adopted a new business model and gone international with the support of a loaded investment it has just received.
The service started by Cengiz Coşkun, Talat İçbilen and Melis Sadıkoğlu, has left sales behind with its new business model, switching to a new model that lets users send collected money to a specific person by paid cards. It means, you and your friends can collect some money, have it transferred to a pool account, post it to your friend on MasterCard by shipping, and your friend can use this money for any place that accepts MasterCard. This includes online shopping websites.
The card sent as a gift is delivered in a special box, with a ‘Gift Story’, which is a unique visual with messages from all the participants. The startup is aiming to grow without being competitive with physical and online stores, thus enabling users get their gifts of whichever size they want.
Collecting money is not limited to individuals, as we have learned GrupHediye.com can also be used for social charity and fund raising projects. Let me add that you cannot cash the sent card.
GrupHediye has developed iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Symbian applications on mobile, and has received a significant amount of investment. The startup got online in July 2011 and opened its doors to a new period in March, while it extended its mission upon receiving 1.5 million TL investment.
İbrahim Servet Harunoğlu, Ali Harun Harunoğlu, Aydın Ulusan and Pimsa A.Ş. have signed for investment in January, and 2/3 of the investment has been funded. Remaining 1/3 part has been left for the end of 2012.
How is the service doing now?
Grup Hediye currently has 65-70 thousand visitors. The startup owners are aiming to extend the business model and Gruphediye.com to larger populations, and are considering entering into markets including Mongolia, Bulgaria, Dubai and Russia.
The startup has a team of 13, without outsource employees, and it offers a stable and preferable business model. On the other hand, it enters into competition with other gift certificate/gift targeted startups in terms of catching the interest of users, even though its business model is somewhat different than others. We’ll wait and see how successful it will be in the coming days.
You can tell about your preferences for giving gifts for startup owners.