I’m not a particular fan of gift cards. There are few things worse than getting a gift card for Christmas to some store I’ve never heard of — or worse, one I hate. Hopefully that’s about to change with Plastic Jungle, a provider of a marketplace for trading and selling gift cards.
Plastic Jungle announced today that it has raised $10 million in its third round of funding led by Jafco Ventures to help consumers redeem $30 billion in unspent gift cards.
The company allows gift card recipients to sell those cards for up to 92 percent of the card’s value and get it back in cash. The average payout for gift cards to any given person is around $96, according to the web site. Gift cards have to have a minimum of a $25 balance to trade in. The amount of cash paid out is dependent on how much demand there is for the cards. For example, Target gift cards pay out 90 percent of their flat value, while cards to clothing retailer Macy’s pay out 80 percent of the card’s value.
Plastic Jungle users can also buy other gift cards on the market at discounts of up to 30 percent when compared to the costs in stores. Gift cards to Target are sold at a 4 percent discount, while gift cards to Apple’s iTunes store are sold at an 8 percent discount. The site reports that it saves its users an average of $68 when they shop using gift cards purchased through its marketplace.
The marketplace doesn’t just pay out in cash, either. It can pay out in credits at other e-commerce and social gaming sites. That includes Facebook Credits and cash that can be placed in a PayPal account.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company’s other investors include Shasta Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Jafco Ventures, First Round Capital, Bay Partners, Harrison Metal and Western Technology Investment. The company has raised a total of $23.4 million, including a $6 million round led by Shasta Ventures and a $7.4 million round led by Redpoint Ventures.