Mobile

Giftango powers the digital gift card revolution, gets tapped by Shopkick

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You’ve likely never heard of Giftango, but the provider of a digital gift card platform for retailers and businesses is becoming an increasingly essential company for mobile shopping and e-commerce. Today the company announced that Shopkick, makers of the mobile shopping app that rewards you for walking into stores, has chosen Giftango to power its new digital gift card offering.

Giftango offers a streamlined way for companies to tap into retailer gift card programs — allowing them to access gift card data within apps and other services. Basically, Giftango is powering the move away from traditional gift cards, which can get lost or stolen, and towards gift cards within shopping apps and digital wallets.

With Shopkick, Giftango is going to allow consumers to both receive digital gift cards as rewards and redeem them right from the Shopkick app. Last year Shopkick drove $110 million worth of revenue to its retail partners — simplifying the rewards process will only make it more valuable.

“All of these merchants have different ideas, Giftango has realy been focused on creating a consistency and conformancy in the [gift card] marketplace,” said Giftango founder and CEO David Nelsen in an interview with VentureBeat. “We’ve been pushing one gift card platform across all retailers.”

Giftango’s launch with Shopkick includes retailers like Lowe’s, Chili’s, Papa John’s, and Fandango. The company expects another 14 partners in the coming weeks.

Nelsen tells me that Giftango supports 150 brands, or a “majority of the market,” with its platform, accounting for around $2 billion worth of gift cards. The company has also developed a simple way to convert existing physical gift cards into digital ones — something that could be useful to help retailers and consumers transition to digital.

Gift cards aren’t exactly a sexy topic, but the move towards digital shopping is making them more valuable than ever. We’ve covered the Swedish social gift card startup Wrapp extensively, which has built a successful business with its social gift card plan. As gift cards shed their plastic real-world shells and go entirely digital, they’ll become even more valuable to retailers and consumers alike.

Portland, Oregon-based Giftango was founded in 2005 and has raised $13 million so far. The company has 50 employees, but Nelsen tells me it plans to double that number within the next 8 to 10 months as it expands its international operations.

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