$2.5 Million Raised by App Start-up That Allows Shoppers to “Teleport” Gifts Directly from Stores
Simon Property Group, the global leader in retail real estate, invests in start-up that uses mobile technology to drive in-store sales while simplifying gift-giving.
COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 30, 2013-- Jifiti announced today that it has raised a total of $2.5 million from Simon Property Group, Schottenstein Stores Corp. and the Jesselson Group. The announcement comes on the heels of the successful completion of an alpha test in three Simon-owned shopping malls in the Boston area.
Jifiti: The Thoughtfulness of a Gift, the Flexibility of a GiftCard
Jifiti makes gift giving more rewarding and drives in-store sales for participating merchants. It offers a gift giver the ability to scan and purchase an item in-store—or select from trending gifts inside the app—and “teleport” it to the lucky recipient (or “giftee”). The giftee immediately gets a Jifiti in-app gift notification in the form of a personalized digital gift card on his or her phone. The giftee can then redeem the gift in any of the retailer’s U.S. locations after selecting the appropriate size, color and style, or apply the voucher toward an entirely different product. In essence, Jifiti is modernizing and streamlining the gift card giving process by allowing users to send a thoughtful gift with the flexibility of the giftcard.
Jifiti was created when its founders saw an opportunity to eliminate the anxiety that normally accompanies the gift-giving process. Gift givers have to worry not only about selecting a gift the recipient will like, but making sure they select the right size, color and style. In most cases, they also need to wrap the gift, make sure they have the recipient’s address, and then mail the gift. The entire process can be both trying and time-consuming. Meanwhile, recipients often have to choose between keeping a gift that is not exactly what they wanted, dealing with the inconvenience of exchanging the gift for something they do want, or re-gifting.
In contrast, Jifiti takes a tangible gift and seamlessly “teleports” it from the gifter to recipient using a digital gift card. By selecting a specific gift, the gifter is able to express the thoughtfulness of traditional gift-giving, while the giftee enjoys the immediacy and flexibility of a gift card. The digital gift card sent using the Jifiti app is personalized showing the name, price and picture of the selected gift along with a message from the gifter. Jifiti users can also use the app to create their ultimate wish list in-store and share it with friends and family, giving them the opportunity to either purchase an item on their list or chip-in to contribute towards its purchase.
Whether a purchase is initiated by a gifter or requested by a giftee, Jifiti could soon render the practice of re-gifting obsolete.
“Our mission is to create the ultimate social gifting adventure by merging the unmatched shopping experience you can only get in-store with the unmatched shopping convenience you can only get online,” said Jifiti CEO and co-founder Yaacov Martin. “Gift-giving is by definition a kind and generous act, yet too often it is a source of anxiety for the gifter and frustration for the giftee. Jifiti eliminates both the anxiety and the frustration, while serving as a real boon for bricks and mortar retailers.” Mr. Martin added that Jifiti has been careful to ensure that their app does not require any altering of typical store operational procedures or point-of-sale systems. “Any store that can process gift card codes,” he said, “can use the Jifiti system.”
Mr. Martin also announced that Mikael Thygesen, Chief Marketing Officer of Simon Property Group and President of Simon Brand Ventures, has joined Jifiti’s board of directors. “I am pleased to join the Board and look forward to working with the Jifiti team to leveraging its unique gifting platform” said Mr. Thygesen.
Some of the retailers that have joined the Jifiti platform include Nike, Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, Sephora, Gamestop, Brookstone and Hot Topic.
Jifiti has a patent pending on the technology to convert an in-store product into a digitized gift. For more information on Jifiti, please visit http://www.jifiti.com.
Jifiti is the brainchild of founders Yaacov Martin, Meir Dudai and Shaul Weisband. Yaacov is a serial entrepreneur whose most recent venture bridged retail online and bricks-and-mortar operations. He oversees day-to-day management of the company and all business development activity. Meir is the leading database expert in Israel and oversees Jifiti’s technology development. A Microsoft MVP, in 2005 he founded Valinor Ltd., which has since become the leading database solutions provider in Israel. Shaul oversees Jifiti’s marketing, brand and social media development. Over the years, he has consulted and worked with numerous global organizations.
Jifiti is registered as a Delaware Company with a subsidiary in Israel that serves as the company’s R&D center. The Company’s US office is located in Columbus OH and is a member of the Tech Columbus incubator.
About Simon Property Group
Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG) is an S&P 100 company and the largest real estate company in the world. The Company currently owns or has an interest in 327 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia comprising 242 million square feet. The Simon Property Group is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employs approximately 5,500 people in the U.S. For more information, visit the Simon Property Group website at http://www.simon.com.
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