Gifting startup Jifiti, which is attempting to merge the concept of thoughtful shopping involving carefully selected items with the convenience of a gift card, has added another $1 million to an earlier round announced this summer, the company is announcing today. The news comes as Jifiti launches its first white-labeled application, powering a gift registry for IKEA Portland. To date, IKEA stores don’t offer gift registries, which makes this current test potentially interesting for the startup, now that it has a foot in the door with the larger retailer.
In July, Jifiti raised $2.5 million from Simon Property Group, a real estate company that operates over 300 malls in the U.S. and Asia, plus Schottenstein Stores Corp., owners of American Eagle and DSW, and the Jesselson Group. Now exercising their option to extend their investment, the Jesselson Group has invested an additional $1 million in the company.
For those unfamiliar, Jifiti’s flagship consumer-facing application allows shoppers to pick out a gift in a brick-and-mortar store, scan its barcode to “purchase” it, and then the gift recipient is sent a notification about your purchase. To redeem the gift, the “giftee” visits the retailer’s shop where they can buy the item, swap it out for something in a different size or color, or pick out something altogether different, if they choose.
The new white-labeled IKEA Portland Gift Registry app, powered by Jifiti, works in a similar way. Customers can “buy” any item by scanning it in the store, by typing in the item number provided by a printed IKEA catalog, or by browsing the catalog in the app, and selecting an item from there. A new feature will also allow family and friends to chip in any amount they want toward a gift, which is helpful, given IKEA’s bigger-ticket items.
When the recipient is ready to purchase, they would return to the store, pick up their items (or something else instead), and then just show their phone at checkout. To make this digital gifting possible, Jifiti works with MasterCard to issue prepaid codes.
For now, Jifiti’s white-labeled experience is only available for the IKEA Portland store, and co-founder Shaul Weisband is careful to explain that this not the start of a forthcoming expanded detail with the retailer – it’s only a test. However, he adds that the additional funding was needed not only for the new gift registry, but for more projects also in the works, including other white-labeling efforts for larger retailers. (Currently Sabon in NY is testing a “Gift It” button on its website, but this is a smaller example).