cleverbug vday

While you’re probably scrambling for last-minute Valentine’s Day gift ideas, Cleverbug has got you covered when it comes to greeting cards.

The company launched an iPhone app last month that lets you easily personalize and ship physical greeting cards to friends and family. To help spread the word about the app, and to save procrastinators from coming up empty on Valentine’s Day, the company is letting anyone send free cards until 10 a.m. Eastern tomorrow.

Creating a card with Cleverbug is simple: Download the app, connect it to your Facebook account, and you’ll be presented with a list of your friends’ upcoming birthdays. Upon selecting a friend, Cleverbug will automatically choose a relevant style of card (like “For Valentines,” “For Him,” For Her”), and you can select from a decent assortment of card designs. Cleverbug has access to all of your friends’ Facebook photos that you can see, and you can incorporate them into the card designs in fun and interesting ways. Typically, cards cost $2.99 each, plus postage costs.

Some of the card designs are kind of cheesy, but Cleverbug is still helpful for anyone who doesn’t have time to normally deal with greeting cards. And in the age of endless digital messages, it’s nice to have a simple way to send a physical sign of affection.

“We saw that there was an opportunity in the online designer print space, like Vistaprint,” said Cleverbug founder and chief executive Kealan Lennon in an interview with VentureBeat. Lennon also noticed that there was a huge opening for a mobile-focused offering, so he decided to launch Cleverbug as an iPhone-only app (a web version is in the works).

Vistaprint has been wildly successful when it comes to things like business cards, but the door is still wide open for a young company like Cleverbug to revolutionize the way we’re dealing with the greeting card industry, which is worth $27 billion globally. Greeting card giants like Hallmark are only just now beginning to take advantage of the web, and from what I’ve seen they don’t have any presence on mobile yet.

CleverBug is working on a group card offering, and Lennon tells me that it’s going to hone the product before it launches an Android app. The company has also been approached by three major brands about integrating its technology into their direct mail marketing.

Dublin, Ireland-based CleverBug has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Delta Partners, Lennon, and other angel investors. Lennon didn’t have much to reveal on the company’s performance since it launched last month, but he noted that it has a “very significant gross margin.”