The Indian gift card market is expected to receive fresh funding of up to $50 million which will enable key players such as Amazon-backed QwikCilver Solutions to ride the next wave of growth in digital cards.
Increasing consumer adoption of gift cards over the last two years, especially digital gift cards over physical cards, has seen QwikCilver’s sales growing 300 per cent year-on-year. The ₹3,000-crore Indian gift market card is expected to touch ₹9,000 crore by FY-2018.
TP Pratap, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, QwikCilver Solutions Pvt Ltd, told BusinessLinethat currently, 5 million gift cards worth ₹1,000 crore are in circulation activated by the 100 brands the company has partnered with across 20 different consumption categories, spanning departmental stores, food & beverages, e-commerce, retail fashion chains, PVR entertainment, among others.
“The fresh infusion of funds by our partner brands will take us to the next level of growth, where we are aiming for ₹3,000 crore in sales by March, enabled by QwikCilver gift cards,” Pratap said.
Founded in 2008 by Kumar Sudarsan, TP Pratap and Bhaskar Vasudevan, the start-up raised $10 million in Series C funding in December, led by Amazon Asia Pacific with participation from its existing investors, Helion Venture Partners and Accel Partners.
The start-up recently acquired Sourcen, a mobile technology start-up, for its team of 12 who specialise in mobile app development. While the acquisition did not involve a cash payout, stock options have been given to some of the key members of the Sourcen team.
“We were working with Sourcen over the last six months on developing Woohoo, a mobile app we launched last month that aggregates multiple payments options for consumers to transact at various retail outlets. We decided to acquire Sourcen and will ramp up the team by hiring mobile developers who will help integrate multiple currencies such as MobiKwik, Paytm, Vodafone and airline currencies to our platform” said Pratap. To support its growth, the company has made a spate of high profile hires over the last 12 months. QwikCilver hired Sanjay Tambwekar as its CTO, from NetApp; Saurabh Sharma to head product management, from Google; Anu Mathew to head Human Resources, from HCL Infosystems; Mahesh Bhalla to head Sales, from Dell and Gyaneshwaran to head Operations from IBM. The headcount has grown from 100 people, eight months ago to 250 people today.
“We are in the process of doubling our headcount over the next 12 months and are ramping up our core technology team of 25 to 75 over the next three months,” said Pratap.
QwikCilver also has its own website, GiftBig.com (now Woohoo.in) that sells gift cards usable on any of the 100 brands that it has partnered with.