Facebook acquires mobile social gifting startup Karma

Facebook acquires mobile social gifting startup Karma

Summary: Facebook has acquired social gifting startup Karma for an undisclosed sum. This is the first acquisition Menlo Park has made as a public company: the first of many to come, I'm sure.

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Facebook has acquired Karma, a San Francisco-based startup that developed an e-commerce platform around gift giving. Essentially, Karma is a gift-giving service that lets not only the giver pick from a list of curated gifts, but it also lets the receiver customize the gift, swap it for something else, or donate it to charity. This works because the giver doesn't provide the receiver's address: the receiver instead gets a text, e-mail, or Facebook message that they got a gift.

The service, launched in February on Android and iPhone, is just a few months old. It would appear that the company's gifting technology or mobile appeal really caught someone's eye at Facebook.

Karma's 15 employees are moving to work for the social networking giant. Additional details of the acquisition were not disclosed, but this isn't just your typical Facebook talent acquisition; Facebook will be acquiring the whole company.

"We've been really impressed with the Karma team and all they accomplished in such a short time," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "This acquisition combines Karma's passion and innovative mobile app with Facebook's platform to help people connect and share in new and meaningful ways."

Here's the full announcement from Karma:

Karma is moving to Facebook: Why social gifting is about to get a lot more social

We founded Karma with the goal of adding the sentiment and meaning back into gift giving. That's what Karma is all about. That's what the Karma team set out to achieve.

Over the last year, we've built a new e-commerce platform from the ground up. We've been honored to partner with amazing brands to create a curated catalog of products. We made those products instantly giftable in a brand new way. And we harnessed the power of Facebook's social network to ensure you never miss a chance to show someone you care. The phenomenal response and feedback we've heard from customers has more than exceeded our expectations. And we're just getting started — today we take social gifting to the next level.

We're thrilled to announce that Karma has been acquired by Facebook. The service that Karma provides will continue to operate in full force. By combining the incredible passion of our community with Facebook's platform we can delight users in new and meaningful ways. As we say … only good things will follow.

Simply put, together we can celebrate life's important moments in ways we could not before. A word of heartfelt thanks to our partners, customers, and our incredible team for helping us share Karma with so many people.

Sincerely,? Karma Co-founders Lee & Ben

Karma isn't going away, or at least it hasn't yet. You can give it a shot here: Google Play store and Apple App Store.

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise, Mobility

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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4 comments
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  • Social media in our life

    Tweeting, texting, Facebooking, checking email, sending photos, and even, yes, old-fashioned telephone calls???we???re doing it all, and we???re doing it wherever and whenever we please. Mobile technology has increased our ability to connect to each other, but we???re still working out the social codes that go along with this medium.
    TextMessage
  • Social commerce and especially social gifting are certainly taking off

    Good Karma, and a good article. We sure wish them luck! Apps for social commerce and especially social gifting are certainly taking off. We're really glad to hear that!
    MyGiftWand
  • launch of smartphone?

    so what do you make of the rumours may buy RIMM --- it all seems to be building up towards facebook wanting to launch its own smartphone?
    samdoodle
  • Social gifting is promising

    I am not surprised that Facebook acquired Karma and eventually other social gifting site like Jifiti, KangoGift, Treaters, etc. There is a huge potential for business for this types of apps as they help maximize profit for the company. Gifting is a social response and it happens all throughout the year. Imagine the earning equivalent of that if Facebook gets to leverage that kind of marketing strategy.
    marianojules