4. October 2012–
The app – now available for free on iTunes – is a digital wishlist to store everything we like and might want to be given, whether it's a specific product or "some cool new art". Wishlists can be viewed and shared, with prompts for friends' upcoming birthdays.
Once a gift is given, a "toast" can be sent to say thank you. There's a touch of gamification, too – giving gifts earns Karma Points and there's a ranking to "discover who is most generous among your friends".
Toast co-founders Benedikt Bingler and Travis Todd previously founded drink-gifting app Buddy Beers. This is the latest in a longer train of thought for the pair:
In late 2011 we really started analyzing gifting as it is a deep-rooted social tradition that has a major positive impact," the Toast blog reads. "So many of you told us the same story; “My boyfriend doesn’t know what I like.” “I hate giving gift cards. They’re so impersonal.” “My mom asks me what I want for Christmas and I never know what to say.” It was obvious what we needed to build for you: A clever mobile app that helps you always send and receive the perfect gift.
Toast is a complimentary service rather than a competitor to Facebook Gifts, which went live last week and lets you buy and send real life gifts to friends. Toast's Todd told TechCrunch they're hoping to affiliate with Facebook Gifts as soon as possible.
Christophe Maire, Peter Read, Michael Hohaus and Dr Rolf Johannes are early-stage investors in Toast, alongside JMES Investments (also an investor in new Berlin startup hub the Factory, where the Toast team is based). JMES' other investments include Berlin tech blog Silicon Allee, which was co-founded by Travis Todd and Moped's Schuyler Deerman and is now run by David Knight.