Digital gifting platform CashStar has raised $5 million today in a Series B round lead by Passport Capital and Allen and Company. In the same space as BlackHawk, First Data, Gift Tango and Swag, CashStar offers SaaS and white-label solutions for big brands who want to implement digital gifting systems.
With “ten times” as many customers as anybody else and partnerships with hundreds of retail brands including Starbucks, Coach, Williams Sonoma, Staples, Cheesecake Factory and The Gap, CashStar helps partners sell tens of millions in giftcards annually. It also offers an extensive range of gift card deployment options, including eGift cards, via Facebook and through your mobile phone.
Companies that partner up with CashStar on digital gifting end up seeing huge returns, for example on Christmas Eve partner Coach saw that gift cards made up 28% of total online sales. Starbucks, which just launched their CashStar eGift program, has yet to implement their deeper Facebook integration, but when it does you’ll be able to complete actions as simple as posting a cup of coffee to a friend’s wall. Home Depot is now experimenting with video gifting.
CEO David Douglas Stone holds that buying a gift is a personal expression, so the format you receive it in also has to be personal and reflective of the times, “Most of the companies that compete in the card market are still living off plastic.”
Stone plans on using the funding to increase the strength of CashStar’s retail network, explore other digital gifting options, increase the mobile CashStar experience as well as to hire more talent. “We’re going to continue to build the market from plastic to digital,” he says.