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Gift Card Giant InComm Acquires fbFund Startup GroupCard

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GroupCard, a startup that lets friends and coworkers jointly create a greeting card and give gifts, has been acquired by InComm, a company that specializes in operating pre-paid gift cards for major retailers. Founded in 2007, GroupCard was a fbFund winner in 2008 and later took part in the fbFund REV incubator program. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GroupCard originally launched as website and Facebook app that allows users to create group greetings and gift. More recently, the startup has moved into the merchant gifting service as well, allowing retailers to offer gift cards directly from their own Web sites and Facebook Pages.

In fact, it’s GroupCard’s Facebook-focused platform that InComm is interested in, says John Anderson, founder and CEO of GroupCard. InComm, which operates pre-paid giftcards for a number of major retailers and companies including Apple, American Express and Barnes and Noble, wants to use GroupCard’s social gifting platform to sell and distribute gift cards on Facebook. The plus for InComm is that they can offer this technology to retailers in-house; and retailers can then access the 400 million plus users on Facebook.

The sell to InComm could be a wise decision for GroupCard. InComm appears to operate a booming business as one of the U.S.’ largest providers of provider of gift cards, prepaid wireless products, reloadable debit cards, and digital music downloads. In 2009, InComm’s gift cards helped generate $10 billion in retail sales transactions. InComm also recently acquired virtual currency company Zeevex.

Interestingly, GroupCard recently worked with InComm competitor BlackHawk Network, to launch an application that brings gift cards to Apple’s iTunes to Facebook. The application’s front end UI was built by GroupCard, the backend was handled by BlackHawk. As a Facebook preferred app, GroupCard was also selected as one of the early testers of Facebook’s payment system, Credits, last year.

GroupCard isn’t the only fbFund alum to get acquired. Weardrobe was acquired by Like.com last fall and WedSnap, the developer of Facebook app WeddingBook was bought up by the Knot.com.

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