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2017

As appeared in Dealstreetasia by Bhawna Gupta.

sadiqahmedqwikcilver
SaaS-based gift card solution provider Qwikcilver, a Bangalore-based company backed by VC investors like Accel India and Helion Partners, is foraying into Southeast Asia market (SEA). “We are bullish on SEA market and has started with Singapore 2-3 months back as our base. We are also expanding across the regions like Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and other parts of SE Asia,” Sadiq Ahamed, chief strategy officer at Qwikcilver told DEALSTREETASIA.  In Singapore, Qwikcilver has partnered with NETS, a payments company, to enable digital gift cards in malls and retailers across the country. It is also working with 99SME to enable gift cards for SMEs, and with Lazada for the gift cards to be sold on its site. “NETS being a dominant player in Singapore, it helps us to reach all the retailers and malls in a single shot. In this market there are only paper based vouchers. There is immense opportunity to digitize gift cards here. It’s also a large and worthy market hence, we are expanding here,” Ahamed said. Founded in 2008 by Kumar Sudarsan and Pratap TP, Qwikcilver was primarily started as a processor and is a SaaS-based prepaid card solution provider. The company is also engaged in the business of distributing gift cards to corporate and individuals through Woohoo.in, a firm which was launched in 2015. “Early this year, we launched operations in Middle East, and after starting in Singapore, the company will focus on Indonesia and Malaysia,” said Ahamed.

The company has offices in Dubai, Singapore and Bangalore. “Middle East has turned out to be really good. It has been contributing a few percentage to the revenue of Qwikcilver. We also have signed up with 40-50 brands in Middle East including Sharaf DG, Al Futtaim group, Novo Cinemas, Emke Group and many more,” he added. So far, Qwikcilver has deployed its cloud technology platform across UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Egypt. Apart from Accel and Helion, Qwikcilver is backed by investors like Amazon and Sistema Fund. Last year in July, the company had raised $10 million led by Sistema Asia Fund, the proprietary fund of Russian conglomerate Sistema. In the round, existing investors like Amazon Asia-Pacific, Accel India and Helion Venture Partners also participated. Prior to that in 2015, it had raised $10 million from Amazon and others. Ahamed further said that the company did not have any ‘requirement for fresh funding currently as it was already profitable’. “Right now, our focus is market expansion, whatever capital we have currently is what we are utilizing now,” he said.

“Qwikcilver is unique in India, Middle East and South East Asia. There is not a single player who provides end-to-end management of gift cards for brands. We have a 90 per cent share of the gift card market in India. The gift card market in the areas – Middle East and South East Asia – that we have penetrated is not fully evolved in fact we are building the market in Singapore and rest of South East Asia ground up. We are the dominant player right now,” he claimed. Globally, Qwikcilver powers approximately 1.5 billion GMV worth of gift cards currently. Overall, around 100 million gift cards has been issued in the last three years and the company is expecting contribution of 20-25 per cent from South East Asia to its revenue in the next financial year.

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2017
Pratap TP, CMO of Qwikcilver has been interviewed on the show by Kavita Thapliyal.  The interview outlines the gifting culture in India and how Qwikcilver has given a twist to this in the form of gift cards. It further highlights how Qwikcilver’s technology has provided the much needed impetus to the gift cards industry in India. Spotlight on Qwikcilver’s growth projections this festive season and its international foray. Following are the key focus areas discussed in the interview:

Growth of the gift card category in the last five years has grown to 300% y-o-y from base zero
This year the gift card transactions have been estimated to be about Rs 5000-6000 cr
50 million gift cards have been activated on a quarterly basis
In the last 2 and a half years 100 million gift cards have been created and issued by Qwikcilver
This festive season Woohoo gifting league and group gifting feature being launched
Partnership with brands across 25 different categories
Expansion to Middle East, South East Asia
Difference between gifting behaviour in India and international markets

cnbc
Source: CNBC Awaaz Entrepreneur
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2017
Sanjevani page 02, Sept 15th 2017
Sanjevani, a leading evening Kannada daily started in the year 1982, featured Qwikcilver on 15th September. The story highlights the launch of Woohoo gifting league this festive season with brands like Shoppers Stop, Westside, Myntra, dine on board for consumers to gift across categories for their loved ones. It also sheds light upon the group gifting, scheduled gifting feature adding convenience and excitement to gifting. Pratap.TP, CMO of Qwikcilver has also been quoted in the article talking about the four fold increase in the growth of gift cards across 100+ brand partners on both Woohoo.in and Woohoo app starting from Diwali to Christmas.
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2017
As appeared in TheWeek by Karthik Ravindranath. 

powerofchoice


“The Woohoo gifting platform is convenient and enjoyable, but it needs to give more payment options”

The adoption of digital wallets is at an all-time high. While these apps allow seamless transactions, there is often dead money in one wallet or the other. If you are running short of money in the wallet that you want to use, you will have to refill it while money in other wallets remain unused. Woohoo, an online gift card app by Qwikcilver allows you to aggregate your balances from various virtual wallets. You can buy gift cards from more than 100 brands. The gift cards can be stored on the app and it can be sent instantly using WhatsApp,email and SMS. A useful feature in Woohoo is the option to sell unused gift cards. So you can buy cards safe in the knowledge that your money would not be wasted. Once your card is sold, your bank account is credited directly. The app also allows you to customise the digital gift card with unique templates, selfies, voice messages, stickers and designs. Other benefits include discounted gift cards and partial redemption.

The new features in the app include sending a group gift—you can invite friends and family to pool money—and pay using Woohoo balance, the app’s own wallet.The interface is easy to use. You can register with your mobile number and log in within seconds. The app has eight primary tabs on the home screen—discounted cards, send group gift, sell gift cards, buy gift cards, redeem Woohoo, manage gift cards, send free greetings and load card. Other settings can be accessed through the menu on the top left, and notifications are shown on the top right bell icon. However, the app is not without limitations. After registering, I got no guidance to set up my account or add payment options. These had to be found from the above mentioned menu.

The payment options available were also disappointing. In fact, the list of wallets supported was short and big names like Paytm and FreeCharge were missing. Even Oxigen Wallet which is supported according to the information provided on play store was missing from the list. Despite these shortcomings, the app offers a good experience. With the gift card market booming in the country, it could become a convenient option in the near future. The app is available on Google Play store and has hundred thousand downloads already with an average rating of 3.7
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2017
Dinamani is one of the leading Tamil daily newspapers, owned by The New Indian Express Group featured Woohoo. The article talks about the convenience of digital gifting and highlights the features of Woohoo. The article further puts the spotlight of Woohoo being present in 400 cities across 5,000 points of sales and its partnership with 150 brands across categories, providing customers a wide array of gifting options. And also highlights the ease in the use of Woohoo in android smartphones and calls it a boon specially during the festive season.
Dinamani 24-09-2017 Page-13
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2017

As appeared in newindianexpress by Anna Binoy. 

There is some celebration every other day – festivals, birthdays, office parties and the list goes on. Last week was Onam and Pooja is right around the corner. Not surprisingly, there are a number of gift choices for loved ones too. But, despite the overwhelming availability, the old dilemma exists: What should I gift a person? In one of their research surveys, Qwikcilver had discovered that most gift purchases happen only three days before the event. Foreseeing this, Qwikcilver, powering 90 per cent of the gift cards in the country, has developed a superstore for gift cards called Woohoo. “Through this innovation, the person receiving the card has the freedom of choice,” said co-founder Pratap T P.

Customised gifting Through Woohoo, which functions as a mobile application and a website, one can purchase gift cards to as many as 150 brands that have partnered with the company. It was launched in 2015 and provides options for planned and customised value gifting. The app securely stores the gift cards and gives regular reminders regarding the expiry. In the latest group gifting feature, released a month ago, people can pool in the amount and gift the card to the recipient. This eliminates the hassle of coordinating and collecting individual amounts. In addition, it has a secondary market trading platform where one can buy and sell gift cards. “This is the first and only platform in the country that provides such an option,” said Pratap.

Taking on Malayalees on social media  Targeting the Malayali audience for Onam, the developers of Woohoo did a social media campaign on all the popular platforms. “The campaign was a humourous take on gifting, endorsing the celebrities in the Malayalam movie industry,” said Pratap.

onam1

“We were trying to make a presence on social media,”
he added Gifting culture Like the greeting card industry, which helped develop the birthday and anniversary culture in the country, Woohoo’s creators also expected to enhance the gifting culture among people. “It is instant gratification. But at the end of the day, we are just trying to improve human engagements through Woohoo,” said Pratap.

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2017
malayala manorama
Malayala Manorama Company Ltd. is one of the largest media groups in India, profiled Qwikcilver in its morning news. Here are the top highlights of the feature:

  • The genesis of Woohoo
  • Woohoo having pioneered the gift card category
  • The ease of sharing Woohoo gift cards via email, whatsapp or courier
  • Woohoo providing ‘the gift of choice’ for consumers and corporate
  • Gift cards across categories– Fashion, Cinema, Hotel
  • Over 150 brands on the Woohoo platform
  • Tie ups with 300 corporations in India

Source:
ManoramaNews ; https://youtu.be/QHHuvvtYA5k
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2017
qwikcilvertechnology
As appeared on The Hindu by Meera Siva.  

“As an alternative to cash, gift cards can be used to buy products of your choice.”
Often, we may want to gift a beloved one on an occasion, but find it difficult to zero-in on what would be most suitable. In such situations, there are benefits in handing out a gift card. The receiver can use it to purchase products or services of their choice.

Buying a card Gift cards can either be physical or electronic. Physical cards resemble a credit or debit card and have a number and pin. These cards can be preloaded with a desired amount of money and gifted to anyone. They can be swiped at any of the point-of-sale (POS) terminals or used for online purchases. An e-card can be used only for online purchases. The gift cards can be bought online or from banks or merchants. Bank cards are typically issued by credit card service providers such as VISA, MasterCard or RuPay and can be used at any merchant outlet. Merchant cards are restricted for purchases of that brand of product or service, at their establishments. Some cards may require activation by calling a toll-free number to register before use. The cards can be used multiple times till the amount is exhausted. Once used, they cannot be reloaded. The minimum and maximum amounts vary with the merchant and the bank. For example, Bank of India’s gift cards are available for a minimum of ₹500 and a maximum of ₹1 lakh, in multiples of ₹1. To buy a bank card, you need not be a customer of that bank. Cards from merchants are typically free while banks may charge a fee. For instance, KVB charges ₹50 plus taxes to non-customers on card purchases of over ₹5,000. You may also have some choices in personalising the look and feel as well as the message that goes with the card. There may be some restrictions on the number and value of gift cards. For example, Flipkart lets you purchase only 100 gift cards in 30 days and the aggregate value cannot exceed ₹1 lakh. The cards tend to be typically valid for one year. However, some bank cards, such as from Bank of India, are valid for three years. Cards from retailers may have shorter validity period.

Other features Most cards support balance enquiry by calling a toll-free number or by sending an SMS. For store cards, a balance enquiry can be made at the time of purchase. Banks allow you to check your balance at the ATMs and ask for statements. For example, you can request a mini-statement on your IDBI gift card with the details of the last 10 transactions. If the bank card expires before the amount is used, you will be able to claim the unused balance. Bank of Baroda, for example, gives a refund of unutilised amount of over ₹100. The claim must be made within three months from card expiry and there are charges for the refund. Stores do not typically allow refunds. There are various apps and online platforms that let you manage expiry and balance amounts on multiple cards. You can also resell the gift cards online by listing the card with a sale price (card value or at a discount). The platform verifies the saleability, validity and balance on the card. Some sites require you to hand over the physical card to them on listing. Others such as Woohoo.in make the old card void (if issued by them) and list a new card to ensure safety. Listing is free and a commission of 10 per cent is charged on sale. Sometimes, don’t many of us pool money to buy a gift? Portals such as Woohoo.in enable us to do this. It has a group-gifting feature to let multiple users contribute towards a card purchase.

Risks and Security Gift card users must be aware of basic security features. You can hot-list the card when it is lost — similar to a credit or debit card — by calling a toll-free number. “The balance amount in the card can be transferred to a new card and reissued”, says Pratap TP, CMO of Qwikcilver. However, many store cards do not require a pin or any authentication for use. While such open access is convenient, there is no recourse if you lose the card. Allowing a card to expire is another common issue. Pratap says that if the user’s case is genuine, stores often take permission from authorities to extend the validity of the card.
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2017

As appeared in by Business Standard Vinay Umarji. 

Issuance of physical and digital gift cards up 150% to over 50 million

GiftCards

Physical and digital gift cards are emerging as a major source of footfalls and sales for retailers across categories. The number of digital or e-gift card transactions has risen three-fold in the last three years, while physical gift card transactions have grown by 41 per cent between 2014-15 and 2016-17. According to a study by Qwikcilver, an end-to-end service provider in the pre-paid gift card space, issuances of both physical and digital gift cards have risen by 150 per cent in 2016-17 to over 50 million, up from over 20 million in 2015-16. “The act of ‘gifting’ is at the crossroads of social and commerce, which arguably, are the two biggest key drivers of consumer consumption. The gifting category in India is also undergoing massive transformation. A continuously widening consumer base, combined with a wide array of gifting options ensures that the category will continue to grow. Qwikcilver is the pioneer in the gift card sector, having powered close to US$1.3 billion worth of gift cards across categories through our robust SaaS based platform,” said TP Pratap, Co-Founder & CMO, Qwikcilver. As per the study, retail consumers are found to be spending anywhere between 50 per cent to 400 per cent over and above the gift card value, with 54 per cent of them redeeming them every 30 days, followed by 26 per cent redeeming them every 60 days. In fact, players like Future Group and Shoppers Stop have altogether launched separate divisions to tackle the growing gifting business. For Future Group, gifting alone is anticipated to touch a revenue of Rs 1000 crore. Giftcards infographics “We believe that gifting is one of the biggest social interactions and social events in our society. At Future Group, we believe that gifting will be a very big business for us, which maybe touching Rs 1000 crore very soon. We have launched a separate division and a new organisation to manage this business – called Future Gifting. This will handle all the Gifting related business of the Future Group. In partnership with Qwikcilver, we have launched Gift Cards, e-Gift Cards and Gift Vouchers for all our formats to be sold and managed through Qwikcilver,” Kishore Biyani, Group CEO, Future Group stated recently at the Gift Card Conclave. According to Qwikcilver, the digital gift card is rapidly gaining growth, contributing almost 65-70 per cent to the overall sales mix in the category, even as the sales mix is expected to stabilise over time, at around 80 per cent digital and 20 per cent physical. From a 61:39 ratio between physical and digital gift cards in 2014-15, the mix has changed to 38:62 in 2016-17. In terms of average load value, which is the total sales value with respect to the total number of cards sold, the ALV has been observed to be higher for utility as well as premium brands. For instance, in 2016-17, the ALV stood highest for hospitality sector at Rs 9,750, followed by spa/saloon at Rs 3,067, online travel at Rs 2,848, electronics Rs 2,649, accessories at Rs 1,573 and apparel at Rs 1,571, respectively. What has helped retailers is in form of uplift, which is measured as the increase in bill value over the gift card value. Gift cards have, apparently, led to consumers spending anywhere between 50 per cent and 400 per cent over and above the gift card value, depending on category. Moreover, increasingly customers are also redeeming their gift cards often, resulting in higher sales for retailers. For the financial year 2016-17, the study found that about 54 per cent of customers redeemed at an average of within 30 days of gift card purchase or re-load. This was followed by 26 per cent redeeming it within 60 days, 13 per cent in 90 days and 8 per cent within 180 days. Meanwhile, according to Pratap, an integrated omni-channel retail experience across categories of retail, e-commerce, hospitality, travel, gift cards and e-gift cards are fast becoming the preferred gifting choice of the new-age consumer
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2017

As appeared on The Hindu by Peerzada Abrar.  

Qwikcilver is the single largest service provider in the prepaid space. Bengaluru-based Qwikcilver aims to manage gift card transactions worth $4 billion in the next two years. The start-up has a 90% market share in the gift card segement, the firm’s co-founder Pratap T. P. said in an interview. “We are looking at $4 billion of throughput (for gift cards) being managed,” said Mr. Pratap, 47-year-old co-founder and director of Qwikcilver. “We are not saying that we have invented gifting. It is the oldest hobby in Indian mythology. But we are packaging gifting fundamentally to the new age Indian consumer.” The gifting industry in India is estimated to be worth about $40 billion and about 2% of it comprises the ‘gift card’ category. This is an opportunity that new-age firms may not have tapped so far.

Prepaid card A ‘gift card’ is a prepaid payment card issued by a retailer or a bank to be used as a substitute for cash for purchases in a specific store or affiliated businesses. Qwikcilver has become the single largest end-to-end service provider in the prepaid gift card space to the retail and services industries in India, South Asia and West Asia The company said that it powers nine out of every 10 gift cards and e-gift cards in India and West Asia.They are being used for occasions such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and various festivals.

 

An alumnus of BITS Pilani, Mr. Pratap founded Qwikcilver in 2008 along with his batch mate Kumar Sudarsan. The firm has built a software-as-a-service platform and in-house technology that manages the entire gift card programme of retailers. This includes design, storage and transactions pertaining to it. Qwikcilver sells this technology to customers such as Amazon, Flipkart and Tata Group. The platform has been deployed in more than 10,000 brand stores across the country. Last year it managed 200 million transactions worth ₹3,000 crore. “Gift card actually drives footfalls for the retailers. Once you enter the store, you will end up spending more than the value of the gift card,” said Mr. Sudarsan, aged 48. Qwikcilver is backed by marquee investors such as Amazon, Accel, Helion and Sistema.

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