Apprema is a company that unveiled two new products for beta testing at the recent DEMO conference: StarMail and StarPay.
The idea behind Apprema is simple: They want to help people collaborate on sending messages and gifts to others. For instance, a sales team could get together to compose a message and each pay a small amount for a gift to a valued client.
While it doesn’t sound too impressive, Apprema is a good example of a company that has hit on a neglected niche that has potential to make some real money.
CEO Mark Schreiber comes from Cisco, where he managed relationships with other companies like eBay, its subsidiary PayPal, and Shopping.com. He told us that while it’s very common for project groups at companies to send out cards and gifts, the process is usually a hassle, involving repeated emails to team members and a hand-collection of funds to buy gifts.
Instead, the company offers StarMail, its collaborative online tool for writing cards, and offers a small “marketplace” of gifts through StarPay. When a group wants to buy a gift, the cost is split evenly, and each can automatically pay by credit card. The company takes a commission from each sale.
Apprema will also target consumers with its products, and says it may have some buyout appeal for large retailers like Amazon or eBay.
The company has collected almost $1 million in angel funding for its seed round, which is still open. The funding is a bridge round to an initial full funding by VCs, which the company says it will seek soon.
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