As the holiday season approaches, people are beginning to search online for gifts for their friends and loved ones. The search for the term “online gift” has increased by over 80% last year. It was a perfect time for a UK-based tech startup and the developer of the instant gifting app Prsnt.
Founded just this year, Prsnt aims to revolutionize the UK gifting market by letting users choose gifts from hundreds of the UK’s high street brands (online or in-store). Prsnt lets you choose a gift from hundreds of the UK’s best-loved high street brands and send it directly to another person’s smartphone. It will even notify you when a friend’s special day is coming up, so you’ll never miss one again. Over the past six months, Prsnt has been testing the beta version of its gifting app.
Today, Prsnt announced it has emerged from beta just on time to meet the growing demands as the holiday season draws closer. Prsnt has also partnered with over 100 of the UK’s very best high street brands to offer users the ability to send the people the things that they truly love, no matter where they are.
The gifting app has a huge range of gift options that are suitable for any budget so you can celebrate everyone’s special days. Before sending you can attach a video or text message to wish them well and let them know you’re thinking of them. Finally, all of your gifts are delivered instantly and arrive digitally wrapped for the receiver to scratch away and reveal what’s inside.
Prsnt’s unique “mini-gifting” concept involves sending affordable, meaningful gifts redeemable from shops, cafés, pubs or online retailers – all for the same price as a birthday card and a stamp. It has partnered with over 100 of household brands including the likes of Amazon, Asos, All Bar One, Spotify, Deliveroo, Uber, Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Nike, M&S, Sports Direct, and The Body Shop among others.
“What we’re trying to achieve is a modern way of gifting, removing all the bottlenecks in terms of hassle, whilst also addressing sustainability,” says Omid Moallemi, co-founder and CEO of Prsnt. “Prsnt achieves same-second delivery, so it’s perfect for when you realize that it’s a friend or a family birthday, or you don’t want the delay of sending something in the post.”
The app reminds users when their friends’ birthdays are, and lets them send a gift – perhaps a coffee or glass of wine – and a personal video message straight to their phone when they can’t be there with them to celebrate.
“With Prsnt, giftees receive an invite to the app, and once downloaded are able to view the personalized message from the sender, and reveal their gift by digitally “unwrapping” it with their finger on the phone’s touch screen – like a virtual scratch card,” says Moallemi. “Then, open it to find a voucher to buy their favorite Starbucks coffee, or a drink at their local pub to redeem from that day.”
The Prsnt team formed in March 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and launched the beta version of the app in December 2020 testing it through peer-to-peer referrals. The app amassed hundreds of users in the first evening of the beta launch followed by 1000’s over the coming months. The virality of the app coupled with the use case proved the time is now for a user-focused digital gifting experience.
Omid Moallemi describes why mini-gifts are a natural evolution for the gifting realm that reflects the make-up of our friendship circles today, thanks to social media. “Prsnt fulfills the momentary need to celebrate somebody you don’t get to see as often as you would like,” he says. “You don’t want to just send someone a WhatsApp or a text message – it feels underwhelming. It doesn’t in any way represent or reflect the way you feel about them. With Prsnt, you can send them all a little something instead – something a bit more thoughtful.”
Currently, the aim is for the app to support UK retailers as they open up again after several lockdowns – riding the green shoots consumers return to shops, pubs, and cafés. “We want to be a catalyst for growth for UK high streets as society returns to pre-pandemic habits,” says Omid Moallemi.
Likewise, if lockdown restrictions were to return, Prsnt has enormous potential for helping people stay connected with digital mini-gifts that can be redeemed from online retailers. “I think the pandemic showed we’re a Covid-proof business,” says Omid Moallemi. “Lockdown showed everybody what life is like if you can’t physically see your friends on their birthday. If we did have a lockdown again, we would be in a good position as a digital gifting company.”
The long-term vision for Prsnt is to increase the degree of personalization the app offers. “The eventual goal is for Prsnt is to offer a personalized set of gift options for each friend,” says Omid Moallemi. “The idea is to take that pressure off of both parties, to give in a smarter way, and use tech to bridge the gap to remove that stress – we believe this is going to be a powerful feature. Our desktop version allows for group sending and cohorts which opens an exciting B2B to B2C model.”
Prsnt is set to raise £3m funding (EIS Advance Assurance) from investors as it targets deeper integrations with retailers and more personalization for users.
The Co-Founders Omid Moallemi David Parr, Daniel Hamilton, Louis Wren, and Hamish Page shared a co-working space in Brighton’s North Laine before coming together and forming the Prsnt leadership team. For over 2 years they have utilized their diverse skillsets in technology, marketing, media, and product design to aid them in building their vision for the future of digital gifting.