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Swedish Wrapp's virtual gift cards launched in US

The Local · 30 Apr 2012, 14:12

Published: 30 Apr 2012 14:12 GMT+02:00

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The company, a start-up which was founded in September last year, broke into the American market after successful launchings in Norway and the United Kingdom.

Owner and co-founder Hjalmar Winbladh was pleased with the opportunity to launch in the US, noting that the country is one of the most eager in the world to give gift cards instead of presents.

“It’s obviously really exciting for us. The US is the big, mature market for retail gift cards. This is a starting point to come into a market where you have to exist in order to succeed,” he told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

The idea functions primarily through Facebook, and allows gift-buyers to purchase vouchers for popular stores through their smartphone.

Wrapp has ten retailers on board already and some have a Swedish background, for example H&M and Björn Borg designs. Another 15 retailers are expected to join within a matter of weeks.

Wrapp has already attracted the backing of two online giants, Skype’s Niklas Zennström and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman.

“These two make for an incredibly exciting combination. Zennström has experience from using new techniques to build consumer services while Hoffman has fantastic contacts in the industry and above all a deep understanding of social networks,” Winbladh said.

Winbladh, a Swedish entrepreneur who has already made a significant splash in the start-up world with internet companies Rebtel and SendIt, made clear the launch was no overnight success.

“The road to success is laced with failures. I’ve made many mistakes with previous companies and I hope I won’t make the exact same mistakes again. You have to adjust, learn, and go further,” he told DN.

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