YIFTEE Launches for Gifts On-The-Go!
December 12, 2012 4:27 PM
YIFTEE™ NATIONAL LAUNCH SPREADS JOY WITH GIFTS ON-THE-GO THAT STRENGTHEN COMMUNITIES Simple, thoughtful gifts drive business to local merchants and contributions to charities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Donna Novitsky Contact: Lori Laub
Yiftee Co-Founder, CEO Yiftee Co-Founder
Mobile: 650-533-0938 Mobile: 650-823-3980
YIFTEE™ NATIONAL LAUNCH
SPREADS JOY WITH GIFTS ON-THE-GO THAT STRENGTHEN COMMUNITIES
Simple, thoughtful gifts drive business to local merchants
and contributions to charities
Menlo Park, CA – December 12, 2012 – Today a brand new website and iPhone app is launched; known as Yiftee, the company provides thoughtful gifts in an instant to loved ones, friends and colleagues. With this exciting new iPhone app and Internet service gifts can be given at over two million local restaurants and shops to say happy birthday, thanks, congrats or just because. Recipients are notified instantly by email, text message or Facebook® post about their Yiftee gift and can pick it up using any smart phone or tablet, driving profitable business to Main Street and strengthening local communities.
Yiftee (www.yiftee.com) lets consumers send thoughtful (most under $20), unexpected gifts among friends, family and colleagues quickly and easily via email, mobile and social media. Yiftee gifts are real items (e.g. a latte, glass of wine, lunch, manicure, rose or boutique fashion item) that recipients pick up (gifts are never mailed) at favorite local cafés and stores, driving profitable business to local merchants. Unredeemed gifts can be donated to charity or they will be credited back to the Yiftee giver’s account after four weeks. Yiftee gifts do not pile up like gift cards and can be given at any merchant who accepts MasterCard nationwide. Merchants gain additional sales, foot traffic and a free mobile/web sales channel at no cost to them.
Featured merchants get top billing for free
To send a gift, the consumer fires up the Yiftee iPhone app or website, chooses a friend and their location and Yiftee will present gifts from featured merchants in that area first with pictures, descriptions and pricing. Then Yiftee uses consumer feedback to prioritize other merchants in the area. Any merchant can apply to be featured at Yiftee.com – there is no cost, no commitment, no special technology and no discounting required. Once the consumer chooses a gift, she writes a note, pays for it and sends the gift notification via Facebook, email or text. The gift recipient simply pays with a prepaid credit card that he or she shows the merchant on a smart phone and the merchant is paid by MasterCard®. Yiftee makes money by charging a convenience fee that is paid by the gift giver.
“Yiftee is a win-win-win: for the gift giver who gets to quickly acknowledge a special moment, for the recipient who inevitably smiles at the thoughtfulness, and for the local merchant, who gains a happy customer who might not otherwise have come in the store” said Yiftee Co-Founder and CEO, Donna Novitsky. “We hope that others are as excited about this as we are and that we start a local gifting craze that helps local businesses thrive in an increasingly online and mobile economy.”
Strong link to local and national non-profits
Sometimes “it’s the thought that counts” and the recipient does not have time to pick up their gift. In that case, the recipient can donate it to a group of well respected, family oriented national charities, or simply allow the money to go back to the gift giver’s Yiftee account, from which they can then give another gift. This avoids complex accounting issues for the merchants and there is no risk that the value of the gift will be lost, like an unused gift card.
Yiftee also works with local non-profits so local communities can benefit from the program as well. Most recently, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church co-sponsored a program to gift Thanksgiving dinners and gift baskets to over three-hundred people in the Redwood City, California community. Yiftee is currently working with local volunteer organizations in Red Hook, Rockaway and Staten Island, NY to help both local merchants and families in those areas hard hit by Superstorm Sandy get back on their feet via a unique gifting service available to anyone in the United States.
Yiftee partners with national merchants who contribute locally
To kick start featured merchants nationally, Yiftee is partnering with two significant franchisors: Apricot Lane, a women’s clothing boutique, and Capriotti’s, a handmade sandwich shop. “Our partners care deeply about the communities where their stores are located,” commented Lori Laub, Yiftee Co-Founder responsible for merchant and customer relationships, “Their store owners are entrepreneurs with deep roots in the same town councils and little leagues as the independent merchants and we are honored to work with them all.”
Led by seasoned entrepreneurs, moms and mobile media experts
Creating companies with a big impact is nothing new for the four Yiftee co-founders. Collectively, they have six IPOs and two acquisitions under their belts, as well as the most current expertise in mobile application development, social media and big data trends from Stanford’s School of Engineering and Carnegie Mellon University. Yiftee was honored to have been one of six winners out of eighty-eight applicants chosen to participate in the Stanford Forge Accelerator program in 2011/2012 and one of nine finalists out of 400 in the Stanford BASES eChallenge.
About Yiftee, ™ Local Gifts, On-the-Go
Founded in 2011, Yiftee is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA. Yiftee (www.yiftee.com) is an exciting new iPhone app and Internet service that lets consumers send thoughtful, unexpected gifts (most under $20) among friends, family and colleagues quickly and easily via email, mobile and social media. Yiftee gifts are real items that the recipients pick up using their smart phones and tablets at favorite local restaurants and shops, driving profitable business to local merchants. To be featured, merchants simply apply at Yiftee.com; there is no cost, no commitment, no special technology and no discounting required. Merchants gain additional sales, foot traffic and a free mobile/web sales channel. Please see www.yiftee.com to give your gift and spread the Yiftee love.
Yiftee is proud to work with these partners.
Apricot Lane. Ken Petersen, CEO and founder:
"We always like to stay ahead of the latest fashion trends and by partnering with Yiftee, we are able to stay ahead of trends in the tech world too!" said Ken Petersen, founder of the popular Apricot Lane Boutique franchise. "We are excited to be a part of something that promotes random acts of kinds throughout the year, but more importantly, we are thrilled that one of our featured gifts gives back. Our 3Strands bracelets are made by young women in Cambodia who have been rescued from sex trafficking and 50% of the profits go back to help those same young women."
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop. Jason Smylie, Executive VP/CIO/CMO:
"Capriotti's is thrilled to be an early partner with Yiftee. Their unique gifting platform is easy to use not only for consumers, but also for our shop managers. The simple execution and potential for incremental revenue is what makes Yiftee particularly attractive for our brand."
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