Yiftee, which just announced $850,000 in seed funding, is an app that allows users to send gifts from local merchants, such as a meal, a cup of coffee, or a spa treatment.
To send a gift, users simply open the Yiftee app or website, select a friend to send a gift to along with their city, and then they can browse the selection of featured local businesses offering gifts. Users can view a description of the businesses and gifts available, along with photos and pricing information.
Once a gift is selected, users can add a personal note and then send the gift to their friend with a notification on Facebook, email, or text message.
The photos above show a selection of featured gifts, which users can narrow down by geographic location and gift category, along with personalization options and what the recipient might see after being sent a Yiftee gift from a friend.
It’s free for businesses to be featured on Yiftee. You simply need to sign up on the website by providing some basic business information and up to three “microgifts” costing under $100 to be sold on Yiftee. At least one of the gifts must be $20 or less.
For local businesses, this type of app could be similar to gift card services in terms of driving business, but Yiftee makes it even easier for mobile consumers to patronize local businesses for gifts. And while there isn’t necessarily proof that this service can convert gifts into returning customers, the fact that it’s easy to use and costs nothing for businesses to use eliminates any potential risk, while still enticing customers to walk through the door.
This latest funding announcement could mean improved product development for the app, which was first launched publicly in December. The company was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.