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GCI raises funds from Blume Ventures and Rajan Anandan, acquires Giftery

Jubin Mehta
12th Dec 2014
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(L to R) Firoz Khan (Co-founder GCI)  Cory York, Indrajit Chowdhury (co-founders, PowerStores)
(L to R) Firoz Khan (Co-founder GCI) Cory York, Indrajit Chowdhury (co-founders, PowerStores)

Cory York is a gritty entrepreneur who came to India a few years ago and setup base in Mumbai along with co-founder Firoz Khan. One of YourStory's eSparks of 2011, Cory and Firoz's venture GiftsCardsIndia has been steadily growing. Today, the company has announced a funding a round from Blume ventures and Google India MD, Raajan Anandan. Alongside, CGI has also announced the acquisition of Giftery, a social gifting website based in Mumbai. The new funds will be used to expand the team, develop new product and increase reach.

Started just under four years ago, GiftCardsIndia has propelled itself to become a prominent name in the giftcard industry. Firoz Khan and Cory York have worked with Future Group and Shoppers Stop respectively before they went ahead to build their online stores, and subsequently launched GCI as an online business. After four years of operations, GCI has not made much noise but claims to have built a multi-million dollar giftcard consumer business with a very small team and a limited marketing budget. They also have a small incubator where they are coming up with products like PowerStores.


From Ice Hockey in Canada to Selling Books Door-to-Door in India, to Setting Up a Mini-Incubator: Goa based Entrepreneur, Cory York


Talking about the investment, Cory said,

We are very excited to work with Rajan from Google and the Blume team, especially Karthik. They have been some of the biggest supporters of startups in India. We will continue to press forward and build our footprint in the Indian market for the long run.

India is a cash economy and solving the prepaid distribution was a challenge according to Firoz. "Coming from an eRetail background, we knew manoeuvring the retail landscape would be a major challenge. Now with all of our processes in place, consumers really love the convenience and speed with which they can now get their gift cards delivered nationwide," he said in this statement.


GCI

GCI through its multi channel 20,000 point of sale B2B and B2C network has sold over 250,000 pre paid cards in less than 4 years totalling over USD 5 million in top line sales. 300 plus top retail merchants are represented by GCI who takes on the full responsibility of pushing sales and logistics of their prepaid products. Some impressive numbers the company has disclosed:

  • INR 30 Crores ( USD 5 M) in 4 Years of sales
  • Sold over 250,000 pre paid cards
  • 20,000 points of sale nation wide
  • 300 merchants within the catalog
  • Targeting INR 100 Crores (USD 16 M in the next 2 years)
  • 100K customers visiting www.giftcardsindia.in monthly

Apart from this, the Gifftery acquisition also makes sense and is a step towards consolidation. "Independent of giftery, we've known GCI, it's impressive team and traction for some time. Through the acquisition of Giftery and our ability to further invest into the business, we are happy to partner with GCI," said Karthik Reddy, Managing Partner Blume Ventures. Giftery is already a Blume aand Rajan Aanandan backed company that had started out as Aurality and pivoted to enter the gifting space. This acquisition and fresh funds combines the strengths of these two small teams and makes the single entity stronger.

Website: GCI Network


Goa based PowerStores raises $ 2 million



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