When you ask someone on a date, maybe you are a gentleman that likes to offer some flowers to make it official. This is where Ticlr, a startup showcased at DEMO Spring 2012, comes into play. You can send a date idea for a nice dinner at a French restaurant with yes/no answer options. If the recipient agrees, some flowers will be sent to his or her home. This is called “tickling” and can be used in many different scenarios.
Ticlr is creating another way to send gifts that claims to be easier, less stressful and more creative. Gifts can be both personal gestures (I’ll cook a nice romantic dinner) and paid gifts such as gift cards, a donation to a charity or an object from one of its partners. It fosters spontaneous gift-giving because of the inexpensive personal gesture option — a new take on gift coupons — and the motivational aspect of conditional gifts.
“I began thinking about this idea a little over a year ago when I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in quite some time,” founder and CEO Chuck Digate says. “We caught up and chatted about a mutual friend neither of us had seen recently either. It occurred to me that there really hasn’t been a social relationship platform for expressing gratitude or acknowledging relationships,” he continues.
On the website, you can find a public gift locker where users save their gift ideas. Other users can browse the locker to find a good gift idea. Ticlr also publishes gifts in the locker, and of course some of them are the products sold through their partners.
Ticlr plans to have different streams of revenue: they will mainly monetize the service by taking a small margin on every product sold through Ticlr and commissions on donations to a charity. Down the road, they want to leverage their platform to allow brands to launch new products.
When I asked who Ticlr’s ecommerce partners were, the answer seems to indicate that the company is still actively building its partner list. “Our initial set in a few weeks will include FTD, Hammacher Schlemmer, Gold Medal Wine Club, Zinio, DiscountMags, Golfsmith, zChocolat, Hulu Plus and a few others,” Chuck Digate says.
Ticlr isn’t the only one working on improving the gift-giving process. Evidence of this lies in the competitors that already exist: GiftWoo creates gift suggestions, and Karma and Wrapp are mobile apps that make gift-giving social and a pleasant experience.
The startup, which is based in Boston, Massachusetts, has received an undisclosed amount of angel investment and is looking to raise additional funds.
If you want to tickle someone today, you can sign up on Ticlr’s website right now.