Wrapp hits 15 million digital gift cards, raises $15 million

Wrapp, the company that lets Facebook friends send digital gift cards to one another, has picked up $15 million from investors in the mobile manufacturing and mobile payments industries.

The money is going toward the development of the app's latest feature: brand pages. Users can now follow a brand for special deals for themselves.

"The whole idea with Wrapp is to build a win-win relationship between consumers and retailers," CEO Hjalmar Winbladh told CNET. Wrapp will start to add other features as well, he said.

The company is truly mobile first, according to Winbladh. Wrapp users access … Read more

The social 'gifting' boom: Wrapp now sending 1M cards a week

A handful of players -- one of them named Facebook -- have worked hard over the past year to create a new category of business known as social gifting. Facebook saw enough opportunity that last spring it snapped up a startup called Karma and built what became Facebook Gifts -- a way for any of Facebook's billion-plus users to send a gift a friend, whether it's a bottle of wine, an iTunes gift card or an item of clothing.

Square, meantime, added gift cards this month to Square Wallet to help its battle with PayPal. And a … Read more

Get top dollar for iPhone trade-ins

Wednesday's Update pays top dollar to bring you the top stories:

Analysts are predicting that as many as 10 million iPhones could be sold if Apple launches it in September. That's because many reports are pointing to a Sept. 21 release date for the next model. So if you're planning on selling your old phone for cash, you should plan ahead to make the most money. Trade-in sites like eBay Instant Sale, NextWorth and Gazelle are already seeing an increase of visitors looking to sell an iPhone 4S or iPhone 4.

You can get more money for … Read more

Wrapp using Facebook to target back-to-school shoppers

Wrapp, the Facebook app that lets people give freebie gift cards to their friends, is hoping to gain traction with back-to-school shoppers.

The company, which is shaking up e-commerce on Facebook, continues to grow, bringing some more big name-brands to attract new gifters, the company announced today. These brands include Dockers, Levis, Office Depot, Rovio's Angry Birds online shop, Zappos, and Roots.

Wrapp's business model combines targeted marketing with social metrics. As CNET wrote earlier this year:

"Wrapp will look at the person you're thinking of, figure out where they are and how valuable they are … Read more

Get touchy with BlackBerry 10

In today's show, it's time to get touchy with BlackBerry, bite your nails over courtroom drama, and share your spleen on Facebook:

Research in Motion showcased the new BlackBerry 10 operating system and its new touch-screen keyboard. Senior Editor Brian Bennett called the keyboard 'freakishly smart, and it was as if the device could read his mind.

On Facebook, you can now add organ donor information to your timeline. To add it to your profile, select life event, and find it under health and wellness.

The first phase of the Oracle v. Google trial heads to jury. Google argues it used Java fairlyRead more

Wrapp: Giving you free stuff to 'gift' to your Facebook friends

Wrapp rolled out in the U.S. today. It's a mobile/Facebook gifting platform, kind of like Karma, which I covered recently and liked quite a lot. I don't think Wrapp is as slick or as fun as Karma, but it's got a devilishly clever business model, and I'm having a hard time seeing how it can go wrong.

See my Reporters' Roundtable interview with Wrapp CEO Hjalmar Winbladh, below, for more. His perspective on the business of gift-giving is interesting, and it might help you come up with ways you can think around the edges of your business.

What Wrapp does that's so clever: It combines gift-giving with targeted marketing with social metrics. The idea is that if you want to gift someone (I guess that's a verb now), Wrapp will look at the person you're thinking of, figure out where they are and how valuable they are to the Wrapp partners, and display for you a number of potential gift card option. For example, if you're looking at getting something for your fashionable girlfriend, you might see a $10 gift card from H&M you can give her -- at no cost to you.

You can add on to the gift card value (and you'd better, you lout), to give her $100 (at a $90 cost). Or you can just cheap out and go for the freebie.

Either way, H&M gets a good potential customer into the store, and for a very reasonable (to H&M) expense of only $10.

Wrapp, of course, takes a fee when the "card," which resides on the recipient's smartphone, is redeemed. The company also helps brands collect data on who's connecting with whom. If the companies working with Wrapp are smart, they're also correlating big data about who's buying what based on their social profiles.

Personally, I'd rather pay for a box of chocolates with cash and give that as a gift; I don't like the thought of an honest gesture being exploited as a datapoint on some product marketing wonk's Powerpoint. But that's because I'm a romantic. Wrapp is a smart business and it really could help more people connect through gifts and gift-like gestures.

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Reid Hoffman joins board, invests $5M in Wrapp

Wrapp, a Stockholm-based startup that lets you send gift cards to friends on Facebook, today announced that LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman has joined its board.

This comes as Wrapp said that it has raised $5 million from Greylock Partners, where Hoffman is a partner.

Wrapp was founded early last year by a team that includes the former CTO of Spotify and the founder of Rebtel, the world's largest independent VoIP company. In September, it launched as a mobile app in Sweden, where it it soon became the top social app.

Wrapp is working with more than 25 top merchants … Read more

Social gifting service unwraps $5.5 million in funding

Stockholm-based Wrapp, a social gifting service that lets you give friends on Facebook actual gifts, today announced it has raised $5.5 million led by Atomico. Atomico is an international venture capital firm created by Niklas Zennström, the co-founder of Skype.

Created for Facebook and smartphone users, Wrapp lets friends and family give, receive, and redeem digital gift cards using their mobile devices. There's also a feature that allows people to contribute to gift card amounts for group giving.

Certificates are available for 15 partner retailers, including Sweden's largest sporting goods retailer Stadium, designer underwear brand … Read more