There’s nothing that says, “I don’t know you at all” like giving someone a Target gift card for the holidays. Some people of course dig Target so much that they will gladly accept a gift card. For many others, a more thoughtful gift of lesser monetary value would be more appreciated.
Enter Boomerang, a Chicago-based startup that makes holiday gifting fast AND thoughtful by allowing you to send digital gifts to your Facebook friends. Remember when you could buy your Facebook friends a tiny digital slice of cake for a dollar? This is not like that. Instead, the Boomerang interface beautifully displays important dates like upcoming birthdays of your friends, then allows you to select a gift from participating partners like local restaurants, bars, and national retailers.
After you purchase a gift, the recipient receives a link to a mobile gift voucher that can be redeemed at the venue or a link to the gift card that can be redeemed for physical gifted item.
Boomerang launched this past summer with 40 local merchants and $1 million in seed funding from Lightbank, a Chicago-based venture capital firm created by Groupon founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell. Since the company’s launch, Boomerang has expanded into New York, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Austin, Texas.