After only three months live in Sweden, one percent of the Swedish population had interacted with Wrapp, and by January 16, the company had one million users according to Techcrunch.

The event
The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Silicon Vikings, will host a “Swedish hot startup company 2013” business seminar.

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Speaker: Andreas Ehn, co-founder and CTO
What: networking, light food and drinks
Where: Wrapp, 27 South Park Ave., San Francisco, CA 94107
When: June 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free of charge if you are a SACC-SF/SV or Silicon Vikings member; $20 for non-members.
Do not forget: Download the Wrapp app in order to receive a gift at the event. Read more on www.sacc-sf.org

Andreas Ehn is co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) of Wrapp, the new social gifting company that lets you celebrate friends and family with free gift cards provided by top brands that want to attract new customers. Prior to Wrapp, Andreas worked as an advisor to venture capital and private equity funds, as well as startups. Before that, he was the CTO of the digital music service, Spotify, from the start of the company, where he built the tech team, platform and product. Andreas also worked at Stardoll, a popular online game for girls, and in Silicon Valley. He studied computer science at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and economics and business administration at the Stockholm School of Economics.

Sweden has received much international attention lately, maybe because Swedish startup companies like Spotify, iZettle, SoundCloud, Klarna, Uber, Fishbrain, Sticky and many others have had great success. One of these up-and-coming startups is Wrapp. Wrapp is a newcomer app that quickly became the number one social app in Sweden. It recently passed one million users and has partnerships with many of the world’s largest retailers.
In an interview with Nordstjernan, Andreas explained the business model.
"Wrapp is a 'social gift-giving service.' It offers a way to give free gift cards from top retailer brands to your Facebook friends using your smartphone or computer.
"Six other experienced startup entrepreneurs and I founded Wrapp in Stockholm, Sweden, in spring 2011. Before starting Wrapp, the team had helped build many other successful startups in Sweden, such as Spotify, Rebtel, Stardoll, Groupon and SoundCloud. The original plan for Wrapp was to make it an international company, so it has had a global perspective from the start. The goal has always been to use Sweden as a test market, get experience in the U.K. and then have our big launch in the U.S. We currently have a small office in New York and our main office in San Francisco, which we want to expand even more. Right now, we are hiring a lot of new people.
"We launched Wrapp in the U.S. on April 30, 2012, and opened our New York office not too long before that. We decided to open there because marketing is big there and it’s closer to Sweden than San Francisco. But we gradually realized that we wanted to work more closely to tech-companies and therefore San Francisco became our main office.
"Today, Wrapp has offices in Stockholm, San Francisco and New York, and the service is available six other countries: Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Finland and Norway."

This is how Wrapp works.
How to give:
1. Visit https://www.wrapp.com/ or download the app from the App Store or Google Play.
2. Sign up to your Wrapp account by using your Facebook account; it’s fast and easy.
3. Select a friend to give a free gift card to.
4. Pick the free (or add more value to it if you like) offer from a brand you like.
5. Click on the Give button and you’re done!

And how to receive:
6. Your friend will be notified that he has received a gift via email, Facebook or text message—it’s up to you.
7. The gift can be found in the Wrapp mobile app under “the Wallet” tab.
8. To use the gift card, go to the store and pick out anything you like.
9. When you reach the cash register, tap the “Use in store” button and show your smartphone to the cashier, who will scan the barcode and complete the transaction.
10. Done!

"We currently have over 1.5 million users and they’ve given their friends more than 15 million digital gift cards using Wrapp. For consumers, it is fun and easy to use their smartphones to give and receive gift cards, and people mostly like that they can carry them (gift cards) around in their pocket when they’re ready to buy something.
"For retailers and brands, we think we can offer a cost effective brand-building service built on a unique marketing platform. Wrapp’s platform lets retailers appeal to potential customers directly instead of using pricey TV ads or other indirect methods. The Wrapp gift cards drive targeted consumer to the retailers and brands’ stores. So for them, Wrapp is an innovative marketing platform for what some call Word-of-Mouth, but what we call Friend-to-Friend."
Karl-Johan Persson, global CEO of H&M, said this about the start-up: “Wrapp has created an ingenious way to use mobile phones and social networks to get people online that we want as customers, actually into our stores and making purchases. And one of the things we like best is that with Wrapp, H&M is being recommended to you by your friends."

We asked Andreas if Wrapp has any competitors and what makes Wrapp unique or better than other gift services. He said, "There are a lot of “clones” out there that did copycats of our service. We did expect it, but not that fast. We couldn’t just sit around and see it happen so we had to act fast and did that by launching in eight countries last year. Moreover, we believe we have a more compelling and better designed platform and especially the strongest partnerships with attractive retailers and brands and can thereby offer the best deals for you."
What are the next steps for Wrapp?
"To make especially the Swedish and U.S market bigger. The target group is women in their 20s to 30s, which is a big group and they are hugely important for the retailers.
"We currently have one-third of our employees in the U.S. But, we are hiring right now and will soon shift to having two-thirds in U.S. San Francisco and Silicon Valley are a global tech center. Nothing can compare to it. So, all startups—including us—have to spend a lot of time there. We still have a lot ahead of us—lots of new features and retailers—so Wrapp will continue to develop. There is a lot more to come!"

By Michaela Alestam
SACC San Francisco/Silicon Valley
http://sacc-sf.org/