Raise acquires Slide, announces plans for New York office

Andreas Rekdal

Online gift card marketplace Raise announced this morning it has acquired Slide, another gift card startup based in New York.

Founded by former American Express employees, Slide lets consumers store their gift cards in a digital wallet, making it easier to make sure they get spent. Though its business model differs from Raise’s in significant ways, the technological challenges the two companies have faced are strikingly similar.

“It’s rare that you find two groups of people who have such similar philosophies for solving problems while also being the most innovative in their fields,” said Raise Founder and CEO George Bousis in a statement. “We immediately clicked with Slide’s team and can’t wait to combine our efforts to reach our unified goal of revolutionizing the retail industry.”

Launched in 2013, Raise’s marketplace lets consumers buy and sell unwanted gift cards at a discount. An attractive proposition, considering that around one fifth of prepaid gift cards and in-store credit go unused.

“We met with the Raise team and were instantly impressed with their vision and mission,” said Michael Morris, Co-Founder & CEO of Slide, in a statement. “We had spoken to every player within the gift card industry trying to decide on our next step. It was a very serendipitous moment where we realized Raise was the only other company out there doing exactly what we set out to do, and we knew we had to work together.”

In addition to the acquisition, Raise will be opening a New York office. 

Last August, The New York Times named Raise among 50 startups poised to reach a $1 billion dollar valuation. Another Chicago company on the list, Avant, joined the unicorn club that September.

Image via Raise.

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