Giftah was created to turn gift cards into a liquid asset, whether you want to get cash for your gift card or be able to use it at any retailer Giftah has always strived to make gift cards more convenient for consumers. Of course this is much easier said then done and the history of Giftah has been one of constant change as we adopt our model to fit our customer’s needs.
History of Giftah
There was no eureka moment that led to the formation of Giftah, it happened organically when three University of Waterloo students met in the first semester of the Velocity Mobile Media Incubator, a program designed to assist students interested in starting their own business. Rezart Bajraktari, Nick Belyaev and Henry Finn got together during the program and began working on the world’s first mouse trap for the iPhone. Due to problems figuring out the iPhone SDK, the team abandoned their mouse trap app and went back to brainstorming. One item that kept coming up was the number of lost or expired gift cards that cost consumers billions each year, which lead to reminiscing of the days where you could actually get cash back on the remaining balance of a gift card. We knew there must be a way to turn gift cards into a liquid asset and immediately began working on a solution to this multibillion dollar problem.
We decided to create a gift card marketplace that would give gift card buyers and sellers exactly what they wanted discounts on gift cards they do want and cash back on gift cards they don’t want. We began work on a beta site and began testing and collecting feedback from our beta users. In March 2009 we presented our concept of the gift card marketplace at a Velocity Symposium and took home the top prize of $2,000 from the Ontario Centre Of Excellence as well as the second place prize, a half day of consultation with Basecamp Partners. Our concept had been validated but we knew there was a lot more work to be done.
In September 2009 the business went live and we began buying gift cards directly from our users. Cash for gift cards had come to North America and both users and guests of Giftah.com were able to instantly receive cash for their unwanted gift cards. We won another Velocity Symposium with our new business and began work on a much needed redesign. Our brand new site launched in July, 2010 with even more features and options for customers to get more from their gift cards.
The Giftah Team