Despite the news that Facebook is going to implement Facebook Gifts which will literally allow you to send a real gift to a friend whose address you don’t have, there’s a startup out there that is not afraid of the 800 pound gorilla in the room. And not to mention Svpply or Wrapp.
That said, Toast, a social wish list app, in stealth mode for the last few months, reckons it has a different take on things based on the psychology of social gifting. The app is now available for free in the iTunes App Store [iTunes link]. In addition it’s raised a small funding round understood to be in the region of €500,000.
The app allows users to create a universal wishlist from things they see online, products in real stores or more ‘intangible’ services like a night out with friends. They can view friends’ wishes and add them to their own list. A wishlist can be easily shared with anyone via the web and notify you when a friend has an upcoming birthday so you can check their wishlist in advance.
Unlike Facebook’s proposed app, Toast is not a way to buy gifts but a more a ‘pull’ service based on wishes, and may be more useful in that the receiver, er, gets the right gift rather than some random tat their friend wants to send them. Then again, Facebook could just implement gift wishlists. We shall see. For now Travis J. Todd, Co-Founder of Toast, says “We’ve chatted with FB and they’re building Gifts as a platform just like they do everything. So, we’re hoping to work with them in affiliating as soon as possible.” He says other social gifting services make e-commerce purchases more convenient but Toast is more about the community of wish lists.
Toast was founded by Todd and Benedikt Bingler who previously collaborated on a drink-gifting app called Buddy Beers out of Berlin, which gave them the idea of Toast. The startup has seed financing from angels such as Christophe Maire, Peter Read, Michael Hohaus, and Dr. Rolf Johannes as well as JMES Investments (which happens to be building Berlin’s new startup campus, The Factory).