Thursday 19 September 2019

Clevergift tees up launch with global retailers

Founder predicts that gifting platform could become a billion euro revenue firm, writes Fearghal O'Connor

FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH: Kealan Lennon of Cleverbug. Photo: Gerry Mooney
FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH: Kealan Lennon of Cleverbug. Photo: Gerry Mooney

New online gift platform Clevergift is to announce major partnerships with a number of well-known global retailers ahead of its launch later this summer, it is understood.

The company, based in Dublin's Sandyford, has raised €10m in funding in recent times. It has developed a highly innovative way to allow online retailers to more successfully tap into the trillion dollar per annum global market for gifts.

Kealan Lennon, chief executive of Cleverbug, which has developed the platform after a four-year research and development programme, told the Sunday Independent that the company is aiming to surpass the €1bn mark in terms of revenue over the next five years.

Cleverbug already runs the successful online personalised greeting cards store Clevercards, from which the Clevergift platform has been developed.

The new platform, he said, was inspired by the potential he sees for it to capture a portion of the global gifting market.

The Clevergift platform allows retailers to add a new one-click button to their own online shops to enable shoppers to directly buy gifts for friends or family by simply entering the gift recipient's email address or mobile number.

Shoppers are directed into Clevergift's own platform. Once shoppers choose and pay for a gift the recipient receives an online "gift box" which displays the gift but also allows them to choose their own size, colour and style of clothing or other product. The recipient can then enter their own preferred delivery address and the gift is shipped by the retailer.

Clevergift also gives recipients the option to swap the gift for a voucher for the retailer if they prefer.

According to Lennon, this brings huge advantages to retailers because it can greatly reduce the amount of returned gifts they have to deal with.

The fact that the gift link is delivered immediately via email or text also greatly extends the deadline for online gift buying ahead of key dates such as Christmas and St Valentine's Day, allowing retailers to compete directly with Amazon's fast Prime service, he said.

"This solves some major problems for retailers who are currently having to deal with a very changed environment," said Lennon. "For gift-givers it also allows them to purchase gifts online right up to the day itself.

"At its heart, Clevergift is part of the fintech revolution. Call it a cryptocurrency if you will, but effectively what we do is embed a code in each product that allows us to transfer value anywhere in the world, which is very powerful."

In recent weeks the company has raised a further €1.5m tranche of cash ahead of its first major partnership announcement.

That brings the total amount raised to €10m, with the main backers including global investment firm Delta Partners and a number of high net worth individuals with backgrounds in the technology and retail sectors.

Sunday Indo Business

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