Lee Linden and Ben Lewis, the pair behind the original incarnation of Tapjoy, have quietly launched their next venture — a mobile commerce play called Karma that lets people send gifts to their friends and family.
Soft-launched just in the nick of time before Christmas, the app is a very user-friendly way to pick and pay for gifts. You can search through suggestions from gourmet chocolate to music subscriptions to 8-bit wall decals before choosing an item and entering your payments information. The app can notify the recipient right away, giving immediate gratification to the sender.
The app also lets the gift-giver pick a type of gift, like cups or shoes. Then the receiver can give more specifics like what shoe size they wear, so they don’t get something that doesn’t fit or that they don’t like.
Karma is in a class of companies like Stockholm’s Wrapp (which is from several early Spotify employees) and San Francisco’s Sincerely, which are trying to use gifting or low-cost physical products to seed a large customer base for a much bigger e-commerce play. The company isn’t sharing any details about their funding or size at this time.
We’ve reached out to Linden for comment. He and his co-founder, who are former product managers from Google and Microsoft, founded Tapjoy and then sold it to Offerpal in 2010. Their model of driving installs of mobile apps through offer walls grew so fast that Offerpal later adopted the company’s name after its own brand was tarnished on the Facebook platform.