Gift-giving platform Joi from UAE has received investment from 500 Startups. The plan of the investments is rather ambitious – to make Joi the ultimate online gifting platform in the region.
While the amount of the investment is undisclosed, the representative of 500 Startups confirmed that typical individual investments range between $50,000 to $100,000.
According to the researchers, the flower market in UAE, the major global flower hub, expects over $ 150 million in future.
UAE market has perfect conditions for flourishing business: growing youth population with a taste for online and mobile-heavy consumer behavior and booming gifting culture.
Why Joi? Though Joi is not alone in the UAE, the reason it has been chosen for this investment project is that there is no other clear market leader in gift and flower areas. For Joi grouping many orders makes the online gifts sector more commercially competitive.
The way it works
In spite of healthy competition in the gift-giving market, there is a unique selling proposition.
Delivery can happen on the same-day and include a singing telegram or a “joicam” which contains a private audio or video message which the recipient can respond to with a message of their own - all elements that the cofounders believe capture the emotional aspect of gift-giving. By making digital gifting more immersive the founders believe they will gain the traction it needs to eventually become a household name.
The platform also offers the opportunity for non-traditional retailers to access a wider market. Wanting to work with independent retailers they also collaborate with companies like Majid Al Futtaim and one of the region’s largest hospital systems to deliver birthday gifts to their thousands of employees.
The iOS app has been recently launched, while Android app is on its way.
The Joi team says they are not going to compete with gift and flower stores. On the contrary they are looking for cooperation with them, to stimulate their normal pipeline by widening their customer database and developing their brand awareness.
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