Press Release: YouGotaGift is the Region’s First Marketplace for Digital Gift Cards

1 – What is YouGotaGift?

YouGotaGift is the region’s first marketplace for digital Gift Cards (eGift Cards). Our end-to-end digital platform connects prepaid cards from top retail brands to consumers and businesses.

Our prepaid cards are entirely digital, i.e. you can buy them online and have them delivered instantly by email or SMS.

We work with 700+ retail brands, reach 5M+ users and serve 2,000+ corporates.

Our Consumer business offers our global users the convenience to send personalized eGift Cards to celebrate friends, family, and colleagues.

Our Business Solutions for Employee, Customer & Loyalty Rewards power 2,000+ businesses across the Middle East including major corporates, banks, telcos, FMCGs, government entities, financial and educational institutions.
We are also the proud creators of the Happy Card, the region’s first multi-store eGift Card redeemable online & in-store across our network of retail partners.

2 – When and where was it established?

YouGotaGift was originally founded in 2013 in the UAE, and soon after started operating in Saudi Arabia in 2014 with its first win of a major banking client in the Kingdom. It is now operating across the entire GCC and beyond with multiple offices across the region.

As a fully registered Saudi company, we have massively expanded our business in the Kingdom and greatly scaled up our team on the ground over the last 18 months, spearheaded by Fawziah Alhoshan, as General Manager. Fawziah is a Saudi national with a decade long career in Business and HR with Saudi corporates and multinationals, including Olayan and Pepsico. She has been instrumental in hiring, developing and inspiring Saudi talent to grow the business in Saudi.

KSA is witnessing tremendous economic growth and the emerging talent pool is highly energized to engage in new roles and career opportunities offered by exciting companies like YouGotaGift. In fact, we are always on the lookout for marketeers, business developers and product managers to join our talented team of professionals (careers@YouGotaGift.com).

3 – Who are the founders?

YouGotaGift was originally founded by myself, Abed Bibi, and Honeybee Tech Ventures (incubator), and further backed by a major regional VC, namely MEVP (Middle East Venture Partners).

Abed is a veteran marketeer and branding professional, with extensive experience in developing major regional brands including MBC, Du and Meraas to name a few.

As for myself, I started my digital career in 2000 with Zawya.com, the leading regional business and finance information portal. As co-founder, we were highly successful in building the first of its kind premium business portal for the region, which was later acquired by Thomson-Reuters in 2011. I have a passion for building great teams and digital businesses that make a difference to our region.

4 – Is it a field that is the first of its kind in the Kingdom? How did the company start? What type of need was there in the Kingdom for such a field?

We were the first to bring this category of eGift Cards to the Kingdom. Our collection of eGift Cards were first incorporated by National Commercial Bank for their loyalty program LAK. It was a pivotal move towards adding a digital redemption process for customers who were used to traditional physical products or gift cards as a reward for their loyalty towards a program.

Since then, we have integrated with over 800 businesses in the Kingdom to digitize their rewards and incentives programs for both Employees and Customers. Today, almost all notable loyalty or customer engagement programs in the Kingdom have eGift Cards as a reward medium. eGift Cards have replaced traditional physical gift cards as they are safer, more convenient, instantly delivered, and most importantly, easy to use – being completely digital. A recent study showed that almost 48% of Saudi customers will continue to shop and transact online even after the pandemic abates – which is well reflected in our business as well. eGift Cards have been truly discovered and we’ve witnessed eGift Card adoption in the Kingdom grow 3x Vs last year.

With Saudi Vision 2030 well on its way, tremendous efforts from the government to push digitization in every aspect of life has also contributed to a ‘never-before’ level of interest for eGift Cards amongst consumers. Our relentless effort to create a seamless and exciting customer experience has helped in garnering customer confidence and all the programs we support have benefited in increased customer engagement. Over the last 18 months, corporates and individual customers have both identified various ways to use eGift Cards – from traditional incentives & rewards to sending Eidiya or just helping the ones in need during the pandemic. It’s a clear sign that eGift Cards are here to stay.

5 – Please highlight the development of the e-gift card business in the Kingdom and the region. Is this method popular in the Kingdom? Tell me more.

The global Gift Card business is speculated to cross $2 trillion Dollars by 2027. In our part of the world, we expect the eGift Card market alone to reach $1.2 billion dollars by 2024, of which at least $700 million will be attributed by the Kingdom.

For businesses and government entities, eGift Cards are the number one most in-demand method to reward their employees and customers, and the adoption rate of eGift Cards in the Kingdom outweighs that of the entire region driven by the digital transformation of Vision 2030.

6 – What is your yearly turnover?

With the rise of digital payments combined with the digital transformation of businesses globally and regionally, we have witnessed a marked acceleration in eGift Card adoptions. Our year on year growth in the Kingdom is over 100% since the pandemic, with KSA driving just over 50% of the volume of transactions.

7 – How many clients have you had so far? May you name a few?

We have a highly diversified base of 1,000+ clients in the Kingdom, from major banking loyalty programs including SABB, SAIB, SNB, Saudi Fransi to name a few, to major corporates including S-Chem, Petrorabigh, Tasnee, Savola, Elm, Abdul Latif Jameel etc

8 – Was there a high demand for e-gift cards during the pandemic? Has it accelerated your business? tell me more

Globally, the pandemic increased the overall adoption rate of eGift Cards, projected to grow at 23% year-on-year, 2.5x faster than their physical counterparts. In our consumer gifting business we have witnessed a 4x increase in transactions between pre and post-pandemic times. The need to gift friends, family, and colleagues, safely and securely, was quickly met with our digital self-service platforms, including app and web applications. Eid was celebrated with our Eidiya Card, a multi-brand eGift Card that was redeemable online and in-store at all our partner brands. A quicker, safer, and more fun alternative to cash.

For businesses and corporates, our business solutions played a key role in seamlessly rewarding and recognizing the remote workforce. For our Telco and Banking partners, demand for eGift Cards has doubled in the last two years, clearly driving customer engagement in such high value programs.

The nature of eGift Cards makes them invulnerable to global shortages, supply chain crises and pandemics. With our portfolio of retail partners, receivers of eGift Cards, especially our Happy Card, have the power of choice and instant redemption. Senders on the other hand have complete and utter peace of mind with instant digital delivery coupled with exciting options to personalize the gift as well as industry leading after-sales and customer service experiences.

This interview was with Husain Makiya – CEO & Founder YouGotaGift