Mobile gifting platform Bitmo secures over $3 million seed funding to transform the $160 billion gift card industry
Bitmo, a mobile platform that allows consumers to gift easily and securely right from their mobile wallet, has raised over $3 million in new seed round capital to accelerate growth of Bitmo’s popular consumer platform, expand its retailer-focused enterprise products, and build out marketing, sales, product, finance and engineering departments, as well as expanding its office in Carlsbad, CA. Bitmo lets users send a gift card as easily as a text and exchange unwanted gift cards with no fee.
Since launching publicly just 18 months ago, Bitmo has already begun to change how consumers connect with retailers. The startup is on track to surpass one million users before the end of 2019, growing 28% month over month. In addition, over 100,000 gifts have been redeemed to date with consumers spending on average 3.5 times the gift amount in store or online. Also, over 10% of gift recipients find new stores on Bitmo, with half of them becoming multiple visit repeat customers.
Unlike plastic gift cards, Bitmo is highly flexible and allows users the ability to split and even exchange card value from one store to another for free. Similar to solutions such as Venmo for money transfers and Uber for ride sharing, Bitmo revolutionizes the gift card experience by eliminating the need for a physical gift card and creating a community among users who are inspired to buy and share gifts.
Founded in 2017 in Southern California by serial entrepreneur and CEO, J. Michael Smallwood, with a leading team of industry executives, startup veterans and mobile payment experts, Bitmo is a mobile gifting platform that makes it easy to send and receive small, yet meaningful gifts among friends. Bitmo can be used to purchase, send or exchange digital gift cards for full value at over 130 different retailers nationwide, including Nike, Nordstrom, Old Navy, Regal Cinemas, Macy’s, Sephora, Petco, GameStop, Panera Bread, Yard House, and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
Bitmo also provides retailers a unique way to directly engage with customers on their platform of choice. For retailers eager to recoup billions of dollars in lost gift card revenue each year, Bitmo uses intelligent data to connect the right customer to the right store while driving measurable revenue for 130 nationwide brands already integrated on the platform.
“Research shows that consumers spend $160 billion on gift cards a year, yet one-third of those who receive gift cards don’t use them,” said Michael Smallwood, CEO and founder of Bitmo. “Bitmo solves this problem by removing physical cards and using technology to directly connect consumers with the retail brands they love. Our platform makes sending a gift as easy as sending a text, while giving recipients total control and convenience in how they spend. Nowadays, we can do everything from our smartphones – from hailing a cab to fractional stock share investing to buying a home. We believe sending a gift should be just as quick and simple.”
New investors in the round include Everplus Capital, Longboard Capital Advisors, and several Southern California-based family fund offices. Additional investment comes from current investors including Bitmo board members and prominent angel investors.
“Simply put, our decision to invest in Bitmo comes down to proven execution, large market opportunity, and solid leadership,” said Jeff Haux, Bitmo’s lead investor and board member. “Bitmo is a scalable platform that simplifies an existing consumer behavior while showing measurable value to retailers.”
Bitmo’s growth is aligned with the continued shift toward mobile commerce, specifically as more consumers use their smartphones for financial services and mobile payments.