&Open raises $7.2m for its company gifting platform

20 May 2021

From left: Jonathan Legge, Ciara Flood, Mark Legge. Image: Linda Brownlee

The Dublin start-up plans to invest in expanding the sales and engineering team behind its SaaS platform for corporate gifting.

Dublin start-up &Open, an online gifting platform for companies, has raised $7.2m in a new round of funding.

The start-up’s software-as-a-service platform is used by companies of any size to create specialised gifting campaigns for their customers, whether they are regular or one-off campaigns, to encourage greater loyalty and engagement.

The platform can tailor the gifts to different demographics and handles the process end to end.

&Open referred to figures that suggest creating an “emotional connection” with customers yields greater long-term value from those customers.

According to the company, it delivers more than 3,500 gifts a week in Europe, North America and China, with Airbnb and Spotify among its clients. It said new client revenues grew by 246pc in the second half of 2020.

During the pandemic and the era of remote working, &Open said it has seen its platform used more commonly by companies to send gifts to employees while they’re all dispersed from the office.

The new round of funding was co-led by LocalGlobe and First Round Capital, alongside angel investors including Intercom’s Des Traynor, PCH’s Liam Casey and Farfetch’s Andrew Robb.

&Open, which currently employs 31 people, plans to use the funds to expand the team in sales, marketing and engineering as it scales the platform further.

The company was founded by Ciara Flood and brothers Jonathan and Mark Legge, who previously founded high-end homeware retailer Makers & Brothers.

“In our hyper-connected world, customers will choose brands who prioritise care and connection over transactional relationships,” Jonathan Legge, who is CEO, said. “A thoughtful gift can make all the difference — both for a customer’s experience and their advocacy and loyalty to a brand.”

“From saying thank you for being a great customer or apologising for a bad experience, sending the right gift at the right time is a skill that can strengthen relationships with customers and inspire loyalty,” Flood added.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin