Schottenstein Invests in Jifiti Israel
Jay Schottenstein (3rd from left) sitting with his sons Jeffrey and Jonathan at the Siyum HaShas
Jifiti Israel raises $2.5M for shared gift registries: “Israeli startup Jifiti announced the closing of a seed round valued at $2.5M and the official launch of the new version of the company’s mobile app which takes the idea of shared gift registries and makes them a relevant tool for today’s shoppers. The money was not raised through funds or angel investors, but rather through a group of companies in the real estate and retail sectors. Among them are Simon Property Group – a U.S. property company which operates over 333 malls across North America and Asia and is considered to be the largest real estate company in the United States, Schottenstein Stores Corp – owner of brand names American Eagle and DSW, and Jesseison group. Before the investment, Jifiti shared a joint cooperation agreement with Simon Property to bring the Jifiti concept to Simon owned malls and usher them into the live gift arena. In the new updated version of the service, the company assures that a mere 24 seconds after the gift is purchased, the user who received the gift will be able to redeem it at any one of the various shops that work with the app.
Timing the investment to precede the major shopping season in the United States was not done accidentally. The new version of the app is available for iOS, Android and HTML5 platforms and encourages consumers to label items on their wishlist and share it with their family and friends through their social networks; Facebook, Twitter, email and even SMS. Users within their network will then have the option of purchasing items for their friends from their wishlists, contributing to the purchase price or buying the item outright in the form of a gift card which is subsequently forwarded over to the wishlist owner. For example, if a user is in an American Eagle store in New York and is interested in buying a blouse for their friend’s birthday who lives in California, the user can open up a purchase and send out a call to their network of mutual friends to come and contribute to the purchase. After raising the full cost of the blouse the application sends a gift card to the birthday friend in California who can then go to any online AE store, choose their favorite color and use their digital gift card to checkout.
Jifiti was founded in early 2012 by Yaakov Martin, Meir Dudai and Shaul Weisband. Among the company’s strategic partners can be found malls and retail giants like clothing outfitters American Eagle and Banana Republic, makeup brand name Sephora, and gaming chain GameStop. Jifiti’s has 12 employees working at their development center in Modi’in, Israel and at their sales and marketing offices in Ohio, U.S.” [GeekTime]