Shootitlive is one of those startups that has been quietly doing its thing and getting very impressive traction. In case of Shootitlive, perhaps not so quietly, as they have over 75 newspapers from Europe as their customers and their solution displays images to over 300 million monthly unique visitors.
Since we last wrote about the company in the distant 2011, they were just getting started in the market but already had impressive clients such as The Times, who used the solution to cover the Royal Wedding.
In simplest terms, with Shootitlive, photographers can upload pictures directly to the news sites without the need to export them from the camera. Everything is done in-camera using a special wifi transmitter.
Wrapp has now launched in the United States, partnering their launch with retailers including the Gap, H&M, Rovio, and Sephora. We've been covering Wrapp for some time now, interviewing COO Carl Fritjofsson on our podcast and hosting CEO Hjalmar Winbladh at our ArcticEvening panel discussion in Stockholm. In both cases they stressed the importance of controlling the United States market, especially against the competition of the German Samwer Brothers' Dropgifts.
At the ArcticEvening event I asked Winbladh if their biggest barrier to entry in the U.S. was selling the concept to large retailers. He said brands can easily see Wrapp's value, but what was more important was being sure to get the right retailers on board for launch. Wrapp is opening in the U.S. with 10 brands, with another 15 merchants joining in a matter of weeks.
I swear this is the last Wrapp expansion story (okay, at least until they launch in the U.S.) but it's been interesting to track their growth against the Rocket Internet competitor - Dropgifts. Wrapp is now launching in Taiwan, which heads their first expansion outside of Europe. Wrapp is already present in Sweden, the UK, and Norway, and will soon be live in Germany, France, and the United States. Everyone has their heads turned to Wrapp's U.S. expansion, where gift cards are a huge $100 billion market, but looking east Wrapp can take advantage of the huge gift giving culture present in Asia. Most gift cards in the States are exchanged on major holidays and birthdays, but in Asia Wrapp can possibly see a steady churn from more day-to-day use.
A stray copycat out there may be reason for some concern, however Rocket Internet has created a name and huge business for itself by cranking out copies at high speed, giving Groupon and other major players hell in Germany and the whole of Europe. Wrapp's press release also mentions they will soon be opening up in France, the Netherlands and the U.S., although the whole release only really serves the purpose of calling out Samwer brothers and say, "I'm coming to your house with these people, and I'm going to get whatever I want out of the fridge."
ArcticEvening Stockholm was held last night at the Hub Stockholm, where around a hundred people from the startup scene gathered to talk about startups, growth and everything else. The guests on the panel included Carl Waldekranz (Tictail), Peder Stahle (iZettle) and Hjalmar Winbladh (Wrapp). I have to say that this was most probably the easiest panel I've held in a while - the reason was simple; these gents know their stuff. It made me think though, looking at all the successful companies in the room, what is it that Sweden has that Finland doesn't?
Our second ArcticEvening of the year will be held in Stockholm on the 29th of March. The theme of the event will be the future of commerce and to make it all the more exciting, we have three fantastic Swedish companies at the event to share their views. We'll be having a panel discussion with Klarna, Wrapp and iZettle to talk about how they see the commerce changing and evolving through technology, but also how consumers are changing their behaviour.
Wrapp has now launched in the UK, allowing users to send and receive gift cards, download the Wrapp app, as well as send gift cards to users in the UK and Sweden. The app has seen a fairly decent amount of traction in Sweden, becoming visible to 1/3 of all Swedish Facebook users during their beta trail. The company has also received over $10 million in two investments from respected investors such as Atomico, Greylock Partners, and Creandum. From here, Wrapp tells us they are beefing up to target the U.S. market.
In our eighth episode we dive into discuss the new rising star of Sweden - Wrapp. We've reported on the company in the past, especially in them raising two rounds of financing worth more than $10 million. The rounds were raised from Atomico Ventures as well as Greylock Partners, both highly acclaimed investors. The first round invested into the company was by Creandum, the acclaimed Swedish investment house that has stakes also in companies such as Spotify. We talk to Carl Fritjofsson, the COO of Wrapp on how exactly the company got setup and what they are really after. Believe us, there is so much more to the company than simply gift cards. After listening to the show, you're going to understand exactly why the $10+ million makes a lot of sense.
This week we are supported by Gapps.fi - a Helsinki-based company that brings the Google productivity tools to your workplace. They've got a special offer for all those who ping them and say they came from ArcticStartup. Also, they are looking for talented people to work with them in the area of sales and technical implementation. Big thanks to Gapps for supporting the show.
Yesterday the digital gift card service, Wrapp, got another boost to their funding round and added anther big name to their board of directors. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman has joined the board as Greylock Partners added $5 million to the company’s Series A funding to co-lead the round with Atomico. Wrapp received $5.5 million in November from Atomico and Creandum.
Another disruptive service is launching in Sweden today. Wrapp, a new social gifting service, has just received $5.5 Million Series A funding led by Atomico, the international venture capital firm formed by Niklas Zennström, the co-founder of Skype, Kazaa and other companies. The company plans on updating the gift card model to the current era by tying their service to smartphones and social networks. The service is now out of its test phase in Sweden and will be launching in the US and UK in the first quarter next year, with the rest of Europe soon to follow.