IITian Apurv Bansal ran into this problem a while back. When in Mumbai, he was looking to send a gift to his girlfriend in Delhi and wasn’t sure what to gift. Prateek Rathore, while studying in Spain, wanted to give his parents in India a nice present on their wedding anniversary. He couldn’t figure out what to gift either and ended up calling his sister back home to get them a “nice” gift.
The two got together to solve this problem. In
January June they launched Wishpicker, a website that helps you pick a gift. The cool part is that it really helps.
We like the fact that it scrapes web stores for gifts. But honestly, it might not be a good idea to throw up a lot of results. Why? Because web stores sell a lot of tacky stuff. Gifts must be beautiful, just like the idea of gifting is. We go to someone for a recommendation if we like their tastes. Also, generic gifts work for very impersonal occasions. The challenge would be to really know the pulse of their target audience and make a few recommendations that are likely to work. It’s great that Wishpicker takes in data from Facebook to see your friends likes and interests. It’s comforting that the site doesn’t ask you too many permissions on Facebook. However, if your friends on Facebook have strict privacy controls, the site may not have access to their likes and interests. We think that getting social intelligence to work better will be key to Wishpicker’s success.
The site is quite similar to Giveter, which provides you with gifting recommendations for relevant gifts based on recipient’s profile. The site was started by Avinash Saxena, the former Chief Technology Officer of Zomato.
There is also quite a bit of competition out there. Take for instance Giftology, a free social gifting service. These guys give out gift vouchers and the likes. Social Buddies will help a bunch of people to get together and gift a common friend. Badhai.in, another social/group gifting service operates in the same space.