Deals

Wantful unwraps $5.5M for alternative gift-giving service

A startup aiming to help people avoid giving bad gifts is itself the recipient of the one gift we all tend to appreciate: cash.

Wantful, an alternative gift-giving service that gives gift recipients the power of choice, has raised $5.5 million in a funding round led by Polaris Venture Partners.

The young San Francisco-based startup, launched in October of last year, encourages gift buyers to select 16 items from an assortment of options tailored for the recipient. Those choices are assembled in a printed gift book that is delivered to the gift recipient who can then pick a single item for delivery. The service also connects with Facebook to add social intelligence to the mix.

The new round of funding will be used to improve the product, expand the product catalog, bring in new talent, and finance marketing initiatives.

Polaris Venture Partners principal and Dogpatch Labs head Ryan Spoon is joining Wantful’s board of directors. Previous investors Harrison Metal, Greylock Partners, and Forerunner Ventures all participated in the round.