GIFTS

Ho Ho Ho! Merrrryyy Christma….shit.

That is the feeling going through all of our heads right now when we look at today’s date on the calendar and realise it is December 20th and not a dime has been spent on gifts for loved ones.

Fear not, coming in like the Red Nosed Reindeer on a blizzard-filled Christmas Eve, Singapore Startup Gifts is coming to the rescue.

Built by Arnaud Bonzom and Daniel Rouquette, the website is basically a typical marketplace with a holiday theme and it only contains local Singaporean startups.

The catch is, Bonzom and Rouquette built it for fun, so it is free to list, they don’t take a cut of the sales and logistics is on the company.

The idea is to unify the startup community (and hopefully gain some exposure in the general public) by providing an marketplace outlet for startups by startups.

Or more simply: They did it because it’s the holidays, and that’s what people do at this time of year.

Also Read: Singapore-based fintech investor Senjō Group acquires UK payments company Kalixa

Bonzom and Rouquette’s product is inspired by France’s “Noël de la French Tech” (Christmas of French Tech) , which, in its third year has been the platform to sell thousands of French tech gifts.

Since its launch, it has been duplicated in New York City, Spain and one platform that covers the Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden). On a sidenote, the Spanish version has the best name — “Los Reyes de las Startups” — which means, “the kings of the startups”.

But to be serious for a moment, this type of platform offers an opportunity to show to Singapore as a whole that “startup products” are useful and cool for non-techie regular folk.

A good example would be the famous Rotimatic — which is listed on Singapore Startup Gifts. It is 100 per cent a startup, but it is building a product that is more useful in a standard kitchen. If bought as a gift, that person might say, ‘hey, this Startup thing I am hearing so much about is actually building products for me”.

Now to the good stuff

What are some of the nifty offerings? (Hint: a lot of the startups are offering promo codes on the site). Here are my personal top-5 favorite (plus a bonus entry for ridiculousness).

  1. For the risqué gift, Vibease is offering 25 per cent off its smart vibrator that connects with the person’s phone for a more interactive experience.
  2. The Commissioned is offering gift cards to give to loved ones so they can commission their own piece of art. Personally, I don’t think anybody can go wrong with a massive 17th century style self-portrait in the dining room.
  3. Singapore’s online tours and activities startup BeMyGuest, is giving 5 per cent off for people to book fun things to do through its platform. Some holiday-themed activities include Snowboarding lessons or tickets to Sentosa’s K-Live hologram K-Pop concerts.
  4. Nothing says holidays more than booze. Wine and Chill, an e-commerce platform for, what else, wine, is offering US$15 off a bottle of Minuty Prestige 2015 rose. (I have no clue what that means but it sounds fancy).
  5. Finally, to burn off those extra pounds we all gain at this time of year, the fitness startup Guava Pass is offering 30 per cent off its first month fee.

Honorable Mention:  Bow down to 99.co for their willingness to be ridiculous.

For a “truly unforgettable gift”, buy your lover that penthouse he/she has always been dreaming of. Situatated high above Singapore’s iconic skyline, find yourself gazing down on the iconic Marina Bay Sands and the beautiful ocean scenery while sipping a glass of Minuty Prestige 2015 rose. For a mere US$22.1 million, this dream could be yours — and the gift? One for a lifetime.

Also Read: Nintendo’s first entry in the mobile gaming arena is laudable, but will it stick?

But, don’t worry. The penthouse has not actually been completed yet.

Lastly

For readers outside of Singapore (or those extremely competitive types within the city), if you want to start something similar in your community (or for a different holiday), the Noël de la French Tech team has a how-to slideshare that can be found here.