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Human Ventures

Token, with $2.5 million in funding, wants to help you find the perfect gift

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There is nothing better than giving someone the perfect gift. So it’s only natural that giving the wrong gift, for which you searched tirelessly and still came up short, is one of the worst feelings in the world.

That’s where Token comes in.

The startup, launching publicly today from the Human Ventures startup studio, wants to take on the challenge of gift-giving with a little help from AI.

Here’s how it works:

Users download the app and enter a bit of information about the gift recipient, including style, their relationship to the gift giver, the gift-giving occasion, and budget. Token then filters that information through its database of thousands of products across more than 1,000 brand and retail partners.

Machine learning narrows down the options, and humans then look through a much more narrow pool of gifts to send a handful of final choices to the gift-giver.

But what makes Token really special is the fact that it offers end-to-end service for the customer. Instead of pushing the user to some outside website, Token lets users make the purchase directly from the app, handling gift-wrapping, shipping and pairing the gift with a genuine hand-written note.

Token’s gift recommendations are free. The company makes money by charging a percentage-based service fee to users who purchase gifts on the platform, while also taking a commission from retailers and brands when a product is sold.

While there are a handful of startups looking to change the way we give gifts, none have offered an end-to-end service to close the loop for users.

CEO Jonathan Jarvis says that one of Token’s advantages is its machine learning algorithm.

“This type of technology wasn’t there before, and that will help us scale the service to millions of users in a way that’s thoughtful and creative,” said Jarvis. “There is tremendous abandonment all along the funnel of gift-giving. But Token reminds you to send a gift, select the right item, handles delivery and gift wrapping. No one has done the entire funnel of gift-giving until now.”

Jarvis also mentioned that gift-giving is a $131 billion market in the United States alone. During the beta test, Token saw an average 30 percent conversion rate across customers, which is extraordinarily high for e-commerce.

With a fresh $2.5 million in seed funding, led by Upfront Ventures with participation from Slow Ventures and Human Ventures, Token seems poised to take on the challenge of securing the gift that keeps on giving: profitability.