Former Zomato CTO launches Giveter, a recommendation engine for gifting

6 Aug, 2012

Avinash Saxena, former CTO of the popular restaurant e-guide Zomato, and Mayank Bhangadia have recently started Giveter, a recommendation engine for gifting. The online facility not only enables users to select gifts based on budget, age or occasion but also keeps in focus the recipient's personality and the giver's mood/mindset.

Saxena and Bhangadia were batch mates at IIT-Delhi (Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal was also a batch mate) and the duo decided to set up this venture when they faced problems while selecting suitable gifts. Before setting up Giveter, Saxena was CTO at Zomato while Bhangadia was senior consultant at Schlumberger Business Consulting.

"Choosing the right gifts should be made simple for everyone and we want to achieve just that. We would also try and do it innovatively – via e-mail, on Facebook or by using the Twitter handle as these IDs are more popular these days," Saxena told

Just 15 days old, Giveter is currently operating on a commission-based model and whenever a gift is chosen and a buyer proceeds to a merchant's site via Giveter, it gets a commission from the merchant for that transaction. The co-founders have already tied up with around 12-13 merchants, according to Saxena. The gift aggregation site has on display some unique gift items (the merchants' products, of course) and when a customer chooses to buy one, he/she is redirected to the merchant's site for payment.

Asked about gifting via e-mail and social networks, Saxena shared that the concept is there to help gift givers who need not be bothered about physical addresses any more. In such a case, a user will just have to provide the e-mail address (or Facebook link or Twitter handle) of the recipient and Giveter will send a mail message on the designated day, informing the recipient that a gift is waiting for him/her. Next, the recipient will have to submit the address and receive the gift. A pilot of this model was done by Giveter on the Friendship Day (August 5) and soon this feature will be available full-time.

Currently, the team is focusing on building awareness and traffic for the portal, but in near future, would look to raise some money as well. Also, it counts other gifting portals or e-commerce shops among its competitors. "Our portal will be helpful for those who are kind of undecided as to what the gift should be. But even when you know what exactly to give, you tend to visit the popular e-shops, which makes them our competitors," said Saxena.

Bang on, we say. Choosing the right kind of gift within a certain budget is the pain point at times and there is a market opportunity in this space. The concept of gifting is evolving fast in India and quite a few social gifting and gift registry portals are now coming up. But having said that, there is a section of people who would be reluctant to spend so much time online just to 'choose' a gift. Still, it all depends on how Giveter leverages the social integration angle and how it curates the selection of gifts.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)