PayPal Makes Gifting Play with Startup Investment (Dec. 17, 2013)
Electronic gifting provider Loop Commerce has landed funding from PayPal Inc., with the payment giant making a Series A investment in the San Francisco-based startup. Loop’s gifting platform can be integrated into retailers’ Websites to enable customers to purchase physical items as gifts online. Buyers select an item and enter payment information, and the recipient is then sent a notification to select a size, color and shipment address to complete the purchase. The platform aims to “overcome the biggest challenges to buying physical products as gifts online,” by reducing online shopping cart abandonment and merchandise returns, according to the company, which was founded in 2012.
“Improving the online gift-giving and -receiving experience is of great importance to both retailers and consumers,” said Don Kingsborough, vice president of global strategic development, PayPal. “We believe Loop Commerce represents the next stage in the evolution of the multibillion-dollar gift card industry, empowering retailers and creating new opportunities through next-generation gifting experiences.” Kingsborough, who will serve as PayPal’s observer on Loop Commerce’s board of directors, has significant experience in the gifting industry, previously founding and serving as CEO of prepaid distributor Blackhawk Network.
In other gifting news this week, epay, a division of Euronet Worldwide Inc. announced the availability of epay-provided digital gift card content through PayPal’s Digital Gift store. PayPal users in the U.S., U.K. and Germany now will have convenient access to a leading digital gift card brand simply by logging in to their PayPal accounts online or within their mobile applications. Consumers are able to select from multiple denominations of digital gift codes and use funds from their PayPal accounts to complete the purchase of the digital gift codes, which are instantly available for self-use or are delivered via email as a gift.