Thankbox Grows 500% During the Pandemic as Purchasing Online Gifts Gains Popularity

By Bruce Harpham Sunday, February 28, 2021

Sending and receiving gifts may have changed during the pandemic, but the practice is alive and well. Thankbox, a company based in Edinburgh, has grown 500% in the past year as online gift-giving takes off in popularity. Rather than sending an envelope around the office to collect money, gift-givers can use Thankbox to collect funds and then send a personalized gift.

Thankbox Founder Valentin Hinov.

More Than One Large Business Uses Thankbox

The gift-giving company has exploded in popularity in the United Kingdom (UK). “Some of our early customers in Scotland were companies in Edinburgh like Sainsbury’s Bank, Criton, and Care Sourcer. Other big-name UK companies whose teams have used Thankbox now include HSBC, BBC, and TfL(Transport for London), ” Valentin Hinov, founder of Thankbox, explained in an interview with Startup Savant.

Sainsbury’s Bank is a British bank owned by Sainsbury’s (stock ticker: LON: SBRY), one of the UK’s largest grocery companies. HSBC is a bank company (stock ticker: LON: HSBA) with more than 200,000 employees worldwide. Care Sourcer is an online company that helps elderly people find care providers.

Like many other new business ventures, networking played a critical role in growing the business. “I am based in Edinburgh, so I reached out to my network, and that's how I acquired them as customers,” Hinov said during the interview. Today, the online gift company has business customers in multiple categories, including banking, tech startups, and retail.

Thankbox Launches a Premium Product

The company has offered a new product, premium, to give customers more options to continue growing. “We've just recently released the premium tier, and it's slowly getting traction. As of now, just under 100 premium Thankboxes have been sold. The top priority now is enriching that premium tier to make it more attractive. We're focusing on things like adding custom font support for messages and other customization options,” Hinov shared with Startup Savant.

The classic tier lets gift-givers collect up to $300 for a gift card and include photos and messages. In contrast, the premium version of Thankbox includes support for adding video messages and sending gift cards up to $600. The classic tier costs $5.99 while the premium tier costs $9.99.

Gift Cards Are Booming

With traditional in-person retail shopping to buy presents largely restricted worldwide, online gift cards are growing in popularity. According to PYMNTS.com, unique purchases of gift cards rose 363% this fall versus a year ago. In addition, spending on gift cards appears to be increasing. According to Blackhawk Network research in 2019, shoppers expect to spend approximately $213.49 on gift cards this year, a 7% increase over 2018.

Thankbox’s Growth Opportunity

Corporate gifts are a significant business category. Forbes estimates that the corporate gift gifting market is worth over $125 billion. Corporate gift behavior is also shifting over time. In the past, sending company gifts covered in logos was common. That is becoming less common. According to Forbes, “A logo gift screams “Think about me and my company.” If a business owner doesn’t know what to send as a gift, some advisors can help. John Ruhlin, the author of Giftology, helps work with business clients to send unique gifts.

About the Author


Headshot of Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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