Like many startups and small businesses, it was an extremely challenging year for Giftpack and yet, we managed to seize opportunities during a difficult time like this and showcased the value of gift-giving, especially under a global pandemic.
To properly say goodbye to 2020 and have a fresh start to the new year, we decided to throwback to the past year and celebrate our achievements.
During the pandemic, many couples, family, and friends could not reunite due to travel bans all over the world. Many special occasions such as birthdays, festivals, and anniversaries were missed. Luckily, with Giftpack’s cross-border gift delivery service, people were still able to express their gratitude through gift-giving. On the other hand, many corporations found that sending gifts was an effective way to boost employee engagement and morale as WFH became the new norm.
Since our corporate gifting platform, Giftpack AI’s, official launch in late 2019, we were eager to expand our service areas in Asia. Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong were our main focus in the past year. Many multi-national corporations are found in these areas and we believe our personalized enterprise gifting solution can thrive in these regions.
When many events were canceled because of COVID-19 in 2020, we were grateful startup competitions were still available. In summer 2020, we placed top 5 at G Camp 2020, a competition hosted by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (MOEA) of the Taiwanese Government. The following fall, we participated on K-Startup Grand Challenge 2020 based in Seoul. With support from the Korean government and TheVentures, we secured a top 10 spot at Demo Day out of 55 other promising startups.
As our services expanded, there was a need for more talent. At our peak in 2020, there were 30 employees in our, including full-time staff and Gifterns compared to only 12 employees in 2019. The data department was also the latest departmental addition to the team. On the customer gift delivery service side, there were more than 70 packers in Taiwan and the U.S.
As we entered the Japanese market, we also looked for partnerships that could help us to build the Giftpack community. Softbank, a Japanese multinational conglomerate included us as part of their business partner program “One Ship” which provided us with a platform to connect with other companies. Meanwhile, we continued to work with the Taiwanese brand, HOLA with several campaigns in which we offered exclusive gift delivery service for selected items from their platform.
Apart from startup competitions, we also attended a few onsite and virtual conventions including Web Summit and Meet Taipei. The former was an annual technology conference held in Lisbon, Portugal which included inspirational speakers from all industries ranging from science and technology to sports and entertainment. The latter was an onsite startup exhibition that took place in Taipei with more than participating 200 startups. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to build connections with our fellow startup businesses, potential partners, and investors.
Since the conception of Giftpack AI, we aimed to offer as many gift options as possible to ensure that gift recipients can choose something that they truly desire or need. Therefore, we continued to expand our product pool and now our gift catalog contains more than 2.5 million items. However, our AI-powered gift generator doesn’t slow down for a bit at all because of a larger product pool. As we are gaining more experience in the AI gift generation process, we are only getting faster at offering thoughtful gifts at scale.