First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times?
Glad we are safe and healthy. My families are in 4 different places around the world. I’m in New York City, my younger brother is in Atlanta, my mom is in Cambodia and my dad is in Taiwan. We are lucky, no one gets sick and none of them loses job. I hope your family is safe and healthy as well.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company
My name is Archer, 28 years old founder and CEO of Giftpack. I’m a serial entrepreneur who has startup experiences in the US, Taiwan, China and Japan. Giftpack is my fourth. The company was founded because of the pain of long-distance relationship with my girlfriend in Taiwan. We were 20,000 miles apart from each other. As a romantic person who studied my master in the US, it made me so hard to send a gift back to Taiwan and try to understand what is the perfect-matched gift for her. After a quick market validation, I decided to build a service that can make gift smart, fast and easy global wide.
How does your company innovate?
We transform the way people do gifting with an AI-powered platform to make personalized process just one-click away. In combination with the global logistic and AI, we take care of every step of gifting with an even better results. No more uncountable hours on figuring out the perfect-matched gifts and no limitations of shipping global wide.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Since our service is made for making things easy and global, we have our sales boosted 7x compares to the same months in 2019. We keep getting more and more request to send gifts to remote workers, international clients and more with our AI system. Then we take the trend to get more international clients not only in the State but also in Japan, Taiwan and China. Even we get some schedule postponed in some countries but we adjusted ourselves to provide the services that are closer to the pandemic situation to come back from the lost.
Another part is about the investors. We have some angels lost tons of money in the market and decided not to continue their investment with us. That made us very stressful and almost lost control of our financial status. So we have to make difficult decisions to cut off the salary in some department and help these team members to get some grants or contract jobs to survive.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
As a startup company, we cannot always profit for each month while growing so we have to cut down the salary for people who locate in the areas which being locked down. It’s very hard to make an announcement like this, especially when everyone knows our sales are still booming. But I realized when you build the company culture right and people can see the vision and the sales, they will bank with you. Fortunately, no one left the company because of the salary cut. I appreciate that I have such a great team with empathy to put themselves in the same shoes. This makes me want to keep building a great company for them, for our customers and a bright future.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and your company in the future?
We do group meditation at Giftpack with Calm app. We got the discount by a chance back to 2018 and we found out how useful it is. Keep calm and going forward together. This is one of the great team building session we have per week.
Giftpack’s vision is to create a place where you can find the perfect-matched gifts for your receiver around the world and deliver in 3 hours. There will be no e-commerce shopping for gifts since we got the best for you. Thinking about gifting? Giftpack.
Who are your competitors?
We have two competitors on both B2C and B2B side.
On the B2B side, we have Alyce.com. We both provide the AI gifting service but they focus more on ABM and the west market. Giftpack does employee gifting and client gifting in the west coast of US and Asia. ( Giftpack.ai )
On the B2C side, joigift in the middle east would be the direct competitor. ( Giftpack.io )
How do you plan to stay in the game?
We are now in the growing stage, even the COVID-19 can’t stop us. Not only busy selling the services to more clients in the State and Asia, but we will also push our unique AI service to the consumer side. We still have no direct competitor at this point. Step by step to pursue our vision.