What do you buy for the people on your holiday lists with very specific tastes? Why not let them decide for themselves?
Just in time for the giving season, Chicago's Raise.com is rolling out an app that provides access to gift cards from over 3,000 brands. Currently available for iOS, the platform digitizes store credit and even lets its owners swap it for cash.
[ibimage==42238==Medium==none==self==ibimage_align-left]One year ago, Raise.com banked an impressive $18.1 million funding round from Bessemer Venture Partners. That figure was undisclosed until this week and raises the company's total funds raised to $25 million. It has now appointed BVP partner Jeremy Levine to its own board of directors.
"BVP is thrilled to invest in one of the leaders in the transformation of commerce and consumer behavior through technology," said Levine in a statement. "Raise has become one of the fastest growing companies in the country by empowering consumers to activate their own untapped buying power. We believe Raise could become a ubiquitous aspect of retail currency and the everyday shopping experience."
Since its big splash last December, the company's revenue has grown by 500% and its employee ranks have swollen from 13 to 107, in a year in which the overall market for gift cards has seen 30% growth.
[ibimage==42239==Original==none==self==ibimage_align-right]Raise.com now has active merchant partners in 50 states. Users have to act quickly to take advantage of its deals – the average digital giftcard in its marketplace sells in about four hours. Interestingly, 96% of users so far have bought credits for personal use, rather than as gifts. But considering the timing of this fresh wave of publicity, that may change.
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