LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman Joins Skype Co-Founder Niklas Zennström on Wrapp Board as Greylock Adds $5 Million to Series A2012-01-18
Wrapp, the new social gifting service, today announced that Greylock Partners is adding $5 million to the company's Series A funding and co-leading the round with Atomico, the international venture capital firm formed by Niklas Zennström, co-founder of Skype, Kazaa and other companies.
Wrapp, which lets you celebrate friends and family with free digital gift cards provided by top brands that want to attract new customers, received $5.5 million in November from Atomico and the Nordic venture firm, Creandum, which provided Wrapp's original seed funding nine months ago.
The Series A funds are being used to launch Wrapp's social gifting service this quarter in the U.S. and U.K., and expansion throughout Europe and additional major markets around the world later this year.
Reid Hoffman, a Greylock partner and co-founder of the social network, LinkedIn, will join Zennström, Atomico's CEO and founding partner, and Johan Brenner, Creandum partner, on Wrapp's board of directors.
Created for social media and smartphone users, Wrapp makes it fun and easy to give, receive and redeem digital gift cards using mobile devices or the Web, and allows friends to contribute to gifts given by mutual friends.
Gift cards, a $100 billion industry in the U.S., have been the most popular gift request for five years running, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) in Washington D.C. Eight in 10 holiday shoppers planned to give gift cards in 2011, a recent NRF study reported.
"The value of Wrapp's social gifting service is instantly obvious to merchants around the world, and in just a few short months the company has demonstrated its ability to quickly scale among consumers," said Hoffman. "This is a viable, profitable business model from the get-go, with hooks into some of the top global and national merchants in the biggest markets worldwide."
Wrapp is currently growing more than 30 percent week-over-week and is now working with more than 25 top merchants in Sweden including the country's largest sporting goods retailer Stadium, Dixons Retail's consumer electronics chain Elgiganten, Amazon's LOVEFiLM.com, designer underwear brand Björn Borg, street fashion brand WeSC, and home improvement chain Clas Ohlson.
"I very much welcome Reid on the board, and believe we now have plenty of fire power to successfully take on the U.S. market," said Zennström. Added Brenner: "Niklas has been instrumental in our efforts to attract additional engineering expertise and opening doors at U.K. merchants. We know Reid will do the same for us in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world - plus much, much more."
Wrapp was started 2011 by Hjalmar Winbladh and a team of entrepreneurs, including Andreas Ehn, Spotify's founding chief technology officer; Carl Fritjofsson, digital media entrepreneur and former advisor to Groupon.se; Aage Reerslev, founder of mobile browser Squace; and Fabian Mansson, former CEO of H&M and Eddie Bauer. Winbladh co-founded Sendit, the first mobile Internet company, where he was CEO and took it public in 1997 before being acquired by Microsoft. In 2006 Winbladh co-founded Rebtel, the world's largest independent mobile VoIP company.
"The technology and partners are in place to make giving gifts of real value as easy and fun as writing a greeting on someone's Facebook wall, " said Wrapp CEO Winbladh. "With the addition of Reid, we now have the dream team board of directors needed to achieve our aggressive goals of taking Wrapp global in 2012."