Face it. Employees are no longer impressed with the classic office gift consisting of paperweights or tote bag with the company logo on it. As more millennials enter the workforce, they are focused on building rewarding experiences and receiving meaningful gifts. Snappy, an innovative employee recognition and incentive startup, provides a platform for enterprises that expertly curates and personalizes gifts for employees, taking corporate gift-giving to a whole new level. Gifts and experiences on the platform include things like hot air balloon rides, travel, or even an ice cream machine.
AlleyWatch spoke with CEO and cofounder Hani Goldstein to discuss the inspiration and creativity behind this NYC startup’s mission and its recent funding round, which brings Snappy’s total funding to $10M across two rounds.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
After an initial seed round of $2M, we raised $8M in our Series A led by 83North with participation from Hearst Ventures.
Snappy offers a solution for companies looking for creative ways to reward employees. Paperweights, pens, and other generic corporate gifts don’t make employees feel valued, and with record low unemployment rates, high-growth companies need to put employee appreciation and company culture front and center as the competition to retain talented employees grows. This has created the need for companies to invest in a program that recognizes their employees’ efforts. Snappy is the perfect solution because you can make every individual employee feel special with a gifting experience tailored to them. With Snappy, each team member gets to choose the gift they like most from a collection of personalized items. Gifts are sourced from leading brands and retailers, and prices range from $15 to $1K+.
What inspired you to start Snappy?
Snappy started as a consumer app with the mission to help people send gifts to their friends and family in a simple way, while keeping the recipient’s magical feeling of receiving a thoughtful gift. After launching our consumer app, we had a wave of companies coming to our website and requesting to use Snappy to reward their employees for holidays, birthdays, work anniversaries, and on-the-spot awards. They were all very frustrated since the other solutions they were using were very corporate style and they were looking for something exciting that will make a real change and show their employees how appreciated they are. When we understood the size of the opportunity for the company, we decided to change our focus and help global enterprises.
How is Snappy different?
Snappy has the unmatched ability to help global enterprises make their employees feel appreciated, boost employee morale, and retain talent.
The company provides choice and flexibility across a selection of trending products and local experiences like hot air balloon rides, cooking classes, and global getaways.
Snappy offers personalization – employees can get a personalized selection of gift options to choose from.
Our process is fun and engaging. Each employee gets to “scratch to reveal” their gift (like a scratch card) which creates a fun and exciting experience.
Snappy is cost effective. Every year, $1B of gift cards go unused. Also, gift cards can be utilized for things like paying electric bills and not on gifts that make the recipient feel good. Snappy doesn’t charge for unclaimed gifts and provides a very transparent view for which gift was selected.
As an employer, you’ll get instant feedback from employees. Snappy creates an additional channel of communication between the employee and the employer through thank you notes, creating a special bond.
What market does Snappy target and how big is it?
Snappy targets global enterprises. Companies spend $90B a year on corporate gifts in the U.S alone. The market is huge and there’s incredible international and domestic demand from our current clients, as well as an appetite for us to expand our global footprint. With record low unemployment rates, it’s never been more important to retain exceptional talent. The current market for our solution is unprecedented.
What types of gifts are the most popular amongst New York companies?
New York companies love electronics and gadgets: Echo dots, tablets, turntables, VR headsets, ice cream makers, and speakers are the most popular products.
What’s your business model?
We charge a service fee for each gift that is claimed.
What was the funding process like?
The funding process was very fast; we received a term sheet in 3 weeks.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
We faced no challenges during the process of raising capital, but we put in a lot of hard work before going out to fundraise. We had to prepare all the materials, build traction and gain momentum. If all those three things are done correctly then the funding process itself is easy.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
There are four factors that led our investors to write us a check:
- The size of the market and opportunity: Corporate gifting is a $90B market in the U.S alone. The market is underserved, and our service is vital for companies.
- The pace at which the company grew: We signed up more than 150 enterprise clients in just 1 year.
- Our investors are excited by the value that Snappy creates within organizations. They have followed us from our early days and are amazed by the consistent and positive feedback from employees once they get a Snappy gift.
- Everyone on our team is fully devoted to Snappy. The whole company puts their heart into it to make sure that we are delivering the best service.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
In the next six months, we plan to expand our roster of 170 global enterprise clients; become the global leader in the corporate gifting category; and accelerate our product roadmap.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
My advice is to focus on the value that your company creates; making your customers happy; and the technology which your team is building. Investors will write the check if your company is doing something exciting and unprecedented.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
I see the company partnering with more organizations, helping them change their employees’ attitudes for the better through gifts that help them feel appreciated and motivated. In the future, there are many opportunities to expand to sales incentives and marketing gifts as well as customer loyalty and consumer gifts.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Sadelle’s, because of their Greek salad!