Featured Startup Pitch: WishBooklet wants to end re-gifting through its gift crowdfunding platform

By Editor August 26, 2013
Eric Santos, Wishbooklet

Eric Santos, WishbookletBy Eric Santos, WishBooklet co-founder

Elevator Pitch: WishBooklet is a ridiculously easy way to get the gifts you really want.

Product/Service Description

WishBooklet is the best way for you to get what you really want. WishBooklet is an easy way to share what you want with your friends and family and get them to pitch in to get it for you. Think of it as Kickstarter for gifts. On WishBooklet, you can easily add items from any online store to your wish list, share this list online, and crowdfund gifts with your friends and family. WishBooklet allows multiple people to crowdfund a gift, or just a single individual to purchase a gift. Create wish lists and crowdfund gifts today!

Here is how it works:

Add items from any online store to your wish list using our ‘Wish It!’ button. The Wish It! button is a bookmarklet that allows you to add any product from any website fast and easily into your wish list. To set it up, just drag and drop the button into your bookmarks. To add a product from any site, all you have to do is click the Wish It! button, choose the image, and enter a couple of details about the item. Then, boom! The gift is added to your wish list. Once you have created your wish list, you can share it online via Facebook, Twitter, or email. You can get multiple friends and family to pitch in and get the item for you. There is a progress bar to track how close you are to your goal and see who the funders are. Once you reach the goal, you receive the money for the gift. You also have the ability to purchase the gift directly through the retailer.

Founders’ Story

WishBooklet was founded by Erik Montes and me. Erik built WishBooklet during a hackathon last year called ‘59 Days of Code.’ The app became one of the crowd favorites, and Erik partnered with me a couple of months after the competition. Erik wanted to bring someone on who could sell the app and run the business side of things so he could focus on building. I have previous startup experience founding Dwibbles.com and Soshowise.com. Erik is the hacker and I’m the hustler. Together we are working on changing the way gifts are purchased.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

We have recently created a widget that online retailers can place on their products page that allow consumers to crowdfund gifts through WishBooklet, and the retailer gets the money. It’s an easy way for online retailers to get new sales from shoppers who may not have enough money to purchase a gift for themselves, but can now get their friends and family to pitch in and purchase a gift for them. Getting online retailer partners is one of our main marketing strategies

We are currently growing our social media presence, and the response has been great. We have also recently started paying for Facebook advertisements and Google AdWords. We have definitely seen ROI using these types of paid advertisements, and we plan to use more paid advertisements once we receive funding. Content creation and guest blogging is a key part of our marketing strategy. Content creation is great for driving traffic and is an easy way to market to consumers without having to stuff our message down their throats.

Market Opportunity

The concept of crowdfunding is by no means new, as people have been using this for years to fund business and charitable dreams. The global crowdfunding volume reached $2.7 billion dollars last year, and is expected to almost double by the end of 2013. While raising money for causes and charitable dreams is great and all, why is very little to none of this multi-billion dollar market being used towards personal gifts?

What if you just want a really nice pair of shoes or a birthday gift that you really wanted? Instead of trying to get one person to buy it, you list your wish on the app and let your family and friends crowdfund the gift for you. This way you get what you really want and nobody has to pay a ton of money to get it for you.

As of recently, not many companies were recognizing this need to be able to crowdfund for your materialistic needs. As this need has become more apparent, several startups have entered this space, all trying to solve the same problem as WishBooklet. These competitors are Aggregift, GIVTED, Crowdtilt and GiftSimple.

How We Differentiate From the Competition 

WishBooklet is pretty unique because it allows individuals to purchase the gifts directly from the retailers or crowdfund the gift. We make revenue from either of these routes. Many of our competitors only allow you to crowdfund the gift, and don’t give you the ability to purchase the gift directly through the retail site. We are also the only gift crowdfunding app working on creating partnerships with online retailers allowing us to add our widget to their sites.

Our crowdfunding element is set up differently than most of our competitors. The crowdfunding portion for most of our competitors is set up more like Indiegogo, where the receiver of the gift still keeps the money raised even if the goal isn’t met. Our crowdfunding portion is set up more like Kickstarter, where if you don’t reach the goal, all the charges are reversed. We feel that people are more willing to back something if they know the money will only be used if the goal is met.

Business Model

WishBooklet is already generating revenue with our small user base. We have a strong business model that generates revenue through our affiliate program, which allows us to take a certain percentage from transactions from certain online retailers when the gift is purchased directly through them. We also take a small cut/transaction fee from crowdfunded gifts.

Current Needs

We have been able to grow WishBooklet without any outside funding thus far. We plan to raise a Seed round in the next couple of months. We are a very lean startup, and we don’t plan to raise more than we need. We are also possibly looking into accelerators/incubators. If any investors see this and want to talk, shoot me an email at erics@wishbooklet.com.

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Wishbooklet logoWebsite: www.wishbooklet.com

Founders: Eric Santos, Erik Montes

Headquarters: Fresno, California

Year Founded: 2012

Facebook: facebook.com/wishbooklet

Twitter: twitter.com/wishbooklet

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/wishbooklet

Angel.co: angel.co/wishbooklet