Like young Ghanaian entrepreneur, Robert Lamptey, South African Internet millionaire, Vinny Lingham launched his new startup, Gyft at the just concluded Techcrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, California.
Gyft, a new mobile application aims to disrupt the $100 billion gift card industry and bring the industry to the mobile phone. It allows one to buy, save and redeem gift cards using one’s mobile phone.
So far, the startup has raised about $1.2 million in funding led by Google Ventures and 500 Startups with participation from a number of angel investors.
So far, the company has more than 100 partnerships with retailers confirmed.
Through Gyft, consumers can enter in their own physical gift card details or buy a gift card within the application either for themselves or as a gift for a friend. Cards are redeemed at stores by scanning a barcode using the iPhone app or by giving the cashier the numeric code to enter. The app also has solid social integration with Facebook and Twitter and notifies users of their friends’ upcoming birthdays among others.
While the app would be made available free of charge to users, Gyft takes an 8-10% cut out of every gift card transaction.
Gyft was one of seven finalists at Techcrunch Disrupt yesterday. It will be interesting to see how the South African Internet millionaire scales out his billion dollar idea.
Watch Vinny Lingham speak about his startup at Techcrunch Disrupt below