Giftpack, a 2-year-old San Francisco-based gift delivery service, expects to expand around Taiwan and other parts of Asia.
Delivery service within three hours is currently available in Giftpack’s U.S. home town as well as five major cities in Taiwan, including the capital and New Taipei. That delivery speed is unusually fast, a boon to standing out among competitors.
The company says in a report that it aims to grow in Taiwan and reach into Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. It expects to expand in the United States, as well.
Giftpack started service in May in Sydney and the city of Taoyuan in northern Taiwan. It’s also available in the Taiwan cities of Kaohsiung, Taichung and Tainan. Other parts of Taiwan will be covered over the next few months.
The company lets online shoppers receive products from local merchants within three hours of a purchase. Shoppers can use an iOS app in Chinese, English and Japanese to find items for gifting. They pay by credit card.
The app download page says shoppers may also add personalized text, video or voice messages, voice or video messages to their gifts.
The service’s seven-person staff works with 120 on-demand contract packers to make deliveries go smoothly.
The back story
According to the company website, the founders began planning two years ago. They first delivered Starbucks coffee to friends and family in San Francisco and Taipei.
Giftpack’s co-founder is Archer Chiang. The 26-year-old Taiwanese man, now the Giftpack CEO, graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Chiang previously received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan.
The cross-border gifting idea was first tested in China with a small-scale coffee delivery service for Chinese hostels, Chiang said. Chiang believed that test to be successful and decided to try it in San Francisco as he was based there.
“Finding your startup’s product market fit is the most important step,” said Chiang in a report.
Giftpack found it sometimes got overwhelmed by orders in San Francisco and had to outsource some deliveries to a rival in the United States.
But the startup is vying in a crowded field of e-commerce and delivery services. It faces competition from major names such as GrubHub, Uber Eats, Postmates and DoorDash in the United States. E-retailers such as PChome Online and Shopee will vie with it in Taiwan.
PCHome says it can deliver within six hours in Taipei. Another player, Momo, now guarantees 12-hour deliveries in cities in northern Taiwan. But Giftpack’s number of gifts lags those of its peers.
Earlier this year, Giftpack opened a pop-up store inside the Taipei shopping center Q Square to complement its online presence. Shoppers can see and touch products such as candles, photo frames and dried flower bouquets.