Sometimes, small gestures go a long way. A gift to celebrate a birthday. A card to thank a potential client for a meeting. But all too often, we fail to follow through on those gestures.
Bond, a New York City-based startup launching today, aims to make it easier than ever to foster your personal and professional relationships with its mobile gifting iPhone app, which lets you send curated gifts and handwritten notes to anyone. You don’t even need to know their address.
The app comes from serial entrepreneur Sonny Caberwal, who sold his boutique fashion site Exclusively.in back in November. Since then, he’s spent much of his time helping out startups in New York City and pondering the future of ecommerce. He eventually realized that he could channel his passion for helping others into a new sort of gifting experience.
“At this point in my life, I don’t know what else I would do,” he said. “I care about building things so long as they have meaning to me, so that they can have some lasting impact.”
Bond’s appeal is its simplicity. The company currently offers around 100 hand-picked products ranging from $15 to $15,000, as well as notes “handwritten” by a robot (Caberwal tells me Bond has the exclusive rights to use the handwriting robot for ecommerce) on embossed paper. Choose a gift, pound out a short note, and then select your recipient. If you don’t know their address, Bond sends a note to the recipient’s email or phone number asking them to confirm it. In a few days, they’ll receive the gift in chic packaging.
Below, check out Bond’s crazy handwriting robot in action.
Like many other social gifting apps and services, Bond pays attention to your calendar to alert you of upcoming events like birthdays and anniversaries. You can also send notes without a gift for $5. [If you'd like to test out the handwritten note feature, use the code FREENOTE at checkout.]
Bond’s earliest customers include big companies who want simple ways to send gifts to their clients. The company is aiming to launch a website for its gifting service next month. It also plans to release an Android app the first quarter of next year. It’s currently in the process of raising a seed round of funding.
“I’ve learned [building a startup] is not the best way to make money — this is a super thankless way to make money,” Caberwal said. “But It’s a great way to make money if you want to do something you believe in. It takes all your time, blood, sweat, and tears, so the journey itself has to be the reward. … If the journey isn’t the reward, you’re almost certainly bound to be disappointed.”