Gift-Giving Wantful Secures Series A

San Francisco-based gift-giving service Wantful has secured a $5.5 million series A investment. Led by Polaris Venture Partners, the round also includes funding from previous investors including Harrison Metal, Greylock Partners and Forerunner Ventures, as well as angel investors.

PRESS RELEASE

— Wantful, a leading gift-giving service focused on helping you give
exceptional gifts for any occasion, today announced that it has
secured a $5.5 Million Series A investment.
— Led by Polaris Venture Partners, this round includes funding from
previous investors including Harrison Metal, Greylock Partners and
Forerunner Ventures, as well as a number of notable angel investors.
— In addition to announcing its Series A round, Wantful added Ryan Spoon
to its board of directors. A principal at Polaris Venture Partners,
Spoon also leads Dogpatch Labs in Palo Alto.
— The funding will be used to accelerate product development, strengthen
marketing efforts and expand Wantful’s product assortment.
— The company expects to make a number of key hires in both its San
Francisco and New York City offices in order to grow its
engineering, merchandising and operations teams.
— More than 650 new products will be added to its assortment this
month.
— Wantful will introduce a new Outdoor category focused on
exceptional products from heritage brands, while also
significantly increasing its gift offerings for men.
— Based on strong consumer engagement to-date, social media and
online customer acquisition campaigns will become a top priority
leading into the coming quarter.
— Since launching five months ago, Wantful continues to impress
customers and partners alike with its innovative and personalized
approach to gift-giving.
— According to a TowerGroup report, the gift card market is a $109
Billion industry and the e-gifting market will triple by 2014. (1)

Quotes:

John Poisson, CEO, Wantful “The gift-giving space has never been more ready for disruption. Gift cards are a massive business, but they’ve been commoditized to the point of absurdity, and consumers are dissatisfied. In a few years’ time this market will belong to services focused not just on transactions, but on exceptional products and thoughtful experiences.”

Ryan Spoon, principal, Polaris Venture Partners “The social gifting industry is ripe for innovation and the Wantful team has blown away expectations with a new model, impressive traction, and an eye for merchandising unlike anything else in the space. John is a serial entrepreneur and has a brought an exciting new perspective and experience to gifting.”

About Wantful: Wantful is a privately held company founded in 2011 by designer and serial entrepreneur John Poisson, focused on the massive online gift-giving market, and on thoughtful, well-designed products and services. The company has offices in San Francisco and New York City, and its investors include Polaris Venture Partners, Harrison Metal Capital, Greylock Partners, Forerunner Ventures, and several notable angel investors.

About Polaris Venture Partners: Polaris Venture Partners is a partnership of experienced investors, operating executives and entrepreneurs. The firm’s mission is to identify, invest in and partner with seed, early stage and middle-market businesses having exceptional promise, helping them to grow into market-leading companies. Polaris invests in businesses across a number of sectors including technology, consumer services, and life sciences. Past Polaris-backed successes include: Adnexus (acquired by BMS), Advanced Inhalation Research (acquired by Alkermes), Akamai Technologies (AKAM), Allaire (ALLR, acquired by Adobe), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY), Asthmatx (acquired by Boston Scientific) Glycofi (acquired by Merck), Ironwood (IRWD), LogMeIn (LOGM), Momenta Pharmaceuticals (MNTA), Powersoft (PWRS, acquired by Sybase), Solidworks, and TechTarget (TTGT). Its current portfolio includes notable investments which include: Adimab, Art.com, AscendHealth, e-Rewards, Focus Financial, LegalZoom, LivingProof, MarkMonitor, ShoeDazzle and Quantcast. For more on the firm, its mission and its portfolio companies: http://www.polarisventures.com .