Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family a Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family and Belgian beer. If you'd like to know more about Robin, head on over to robinwauters.com or follow him on Twitter.
Wrapp, the Swedish social gifting app maker co-founded by former Spotify CTO Andreas Ehn, is making its debut in the United Kingdom today. The service was previously available only in Sweden, even though has Wrapp has offices in Stockholm, London and Silicon Valley. A U.S. launch is up next, followed by a roll-out in some of Europe’s biggest markets, we’re told.
The UK will be Wrapp’s first serious testing ground, but Ehn tells me they’re encouraged by what they’ve seen in their home market so far. He claims more than 150,000 consumers have sent nearly 1 million gift cards in Sweden since its launch there in mid-November 2011, and growing at a clip of roughly 30 percent per week.
Importantly, of those 1 million gift cards sent, approximately 100,000 were used for shopping.
Basically, the social gifting service enables friends to send and redeem free and paid gift cards – provided by brands that partner with Wrapp – to friends from their smartphones or the Web. The app also allows Facebook friends to contribute to presents for people, which is really cool.
Wrapp is launching in the UK today with a bunch of merchant partners, including online fashion and beauty retailer ASOS, gym and health club group Fitness First, language-learning software company Rosetta Stone and Pizza Express.
The startup is considering building apps for Windows Phone and Blackberry to complement its Android and iOS apps, but may end up simply going for a mobile Web app instead of trying to create decent native apps for all major platforms.
Wrapp has raised more than $10 million in Series A funding from VC firms Greylock Partners, Atomico and Creandum. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Niklas Zennström (Skype, Kazaa, Atomico) sit on the startup’s board of directors.
Ehn co-founded the company with CEO Hjalmar Winbladh, a serial entrepreneur who made his name co-founding Sendit and VoIP company Rebtel.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.