Nigeria’s SureGifts to expand to SA, Ghana

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Nigerian startup SureGifts, an online retailer of gift cards, has announced plans to roll out in South Africa and Ghana before the end of this year.

SureGifts was launched in January of last year, and is funded by local and international investors like Venture Garden Group (VGG) and Africa Angels Network (AAN). The startup averages US$50,000 in sales monthly.

Co-founder Adeoye Ojo told Disrupt Africa the startup is currently putting in place plans to launch in South Africa and Ghana, while also rolling out a new website to make the process of sending gift cards more personal.

“We launched SureGifts to help address the headache of a sending the right gift and avoiding unwanted items for the buyers and the recipients. Also considering the gift giving nature of Nigerians and how big weddings are here, we felt it should be a hit,” he said.

“Our biggest customers have been corporate organisations who use us to power employee rewards at different levels, we intend to increase this customer base while also growing the gift card culture among mass market.”

Ojo said SureGifts had partnered with some of the best stores – both online and offline – in Nigeria, and integrated with their systems to allow people to collect SureGifts gift cards from a variety of locations.

“For online platforms we created plugins and extensions, or shared raw APIs for custom platforms. This enabled their systems to verify if a voucher issued by SureGifts is valid or not,” he said.

“For offline retail outlets, we deployed custom point of sale (PoS) devices that can verify vouchers and print receipts for customers and merchants similar to ones used for debit card transactions.”

Through its expansion plans, Ojo said SureGifts hopes to become the one-stop shop for any gifting or reward considerations for individuals and corporates.

Apart from announcing its rollouts in other countries in Africa, SureGifts has also rolled out a new site looking to personalise the process of sending gift cards.

“The new site was built with the customer in mind, we wanted to address the issue of gift cards not been personal enough, so we introduced some features we believe will make it better,” Ojo said.

Customers are now able to add a greetings card based on the occasion for the gift, while they can also send a message – via video if they wish.

“We believe will be a good one for our customers in the diaspora wanting to send a gift to loved ones at home,” Ojo said.

Customers also now have the option to print their designed card at home and hand it over to the recipient personally, with a PDF file mailed to the customer with the customisation implemented. Gift cards can now also be delivered by SMS, while couples about to get married can now set up a gift registry, generate a unique URL and share with friends and family.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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