Gifting on-demand startup Afloat goes nationwide | TechCrunch


Afloat, a present supply app that allows you to store from native shops and have presents delivered to a liked one on the identical day, is now accessible throughout the U.S. The startup introduced on Monday that it’s rolling out its service nationwide after beforehand solely being accessible in choose cities, together with Atlanta, Dallas, Charleston, Fort Value, Kansas Metropolis, Nashville, and Wichita, amongst others.

The startup was based by Sarah-Allen Preston after she skilled the stress of her new child present process open coronary heart surgical procedure. After receiving considerate presents from family members, Preston needed to make rapid gift-giving doable for everybody, together with those that stay in one other state, to assist their family members in a time of want. 

“When I looked back on that experience, though, I weirdly didn’t remember the stress and the heartache. All I remembered was how people showed up for me and how cared and supported I felt… So, I took that feeling and went on to amplify this in the world through technology,” she instructed TechCrunch. 

Afloat goals to offer the comfort of on-line buying and immediate supply whereas additionally supporting native companies with out leaving your house. Afloat takes care of your complete gift-giving course of, together with present wrapping and including a handwritten be aware for an additional private contact. (Preston talked about that that is extra considerate than receiving a typed Amazon receipt.) As for the supply half, DoorDash drivers care for that. 

After the pandemic, many purchasers realized how a lot they appreciated their native retailers. Practically 40% of small companies needed to shut down throughout the COVID-19 lockdown in 2021. That want to buy at small companies continues to remain sturdy. In keeping with a latest survey by Intuit, 62% of members stated they need to purchase from small companies of their neighborhood. E-commerce giants are additionally capitalizing on this mindset, as demonstrated by Etsy’s new gifting initiative, which options curated present guides that spotlight impartial store homeowners.

Afloat platform

The app presently works with 100 retailer companions, starting from bakeries and child shops to bookstores, florists, conventional present shops, jewellery shops, and so forth. In keeping with the corporate, it has helped its retailer companions increase their gifting income by 30-50%. 

The corporate has additionally now shifted to a SaaS (software program as a service) mannequin to permit extra shops to affix the platform, together with different kinds of companies, like spas and comparable companies. Afloat will supply subscription plans at $99/month (Gold) and $299/month (Platinum), which features a newly launched dashboard that gives shops with advertising and merchandising assist, in addition to gross sales knowledge, and different helpful options. 

“We don’t have to hard launch markets anymore, which is really exciting… We are going to be able to be SaaS anywhere, everywhere,” Preston stated. 

Moreover, the corporate is within the technique of constructing a subscription tier for customers, which can enable them to entry premium options like scheduling deliveries and being notified as quickly as a brand new present providing drops. 

Afloat presently has over 30,000 customers. It’s backed by Goodwater Capital and Techstars, with over $5M in whole funding.

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