Digital greeting card startup Cardly raises $230,000 from QUT Creative Enterprise Australia

Having last year walked away from a $250,000 deal with Naomi Simson brokered on the set of Shark Tank, Melbourne-founded digital greeting card startup Cardly has raised $230,000 in a seed funding round led by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA).

The funding comes as the startup looks to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) to further its service, which was founded by Patrick Gaskin and Thomas Clift three years ago.

Offering cards sourced from small artists, the platform works by having a customer choose a card and then type a personalised message; they are also able to create a doodle. The messages are then printed in handwritten styles, with the customer able to choose from a variety to find that which best resembles their own. The file is then sent to a local printer within the global Cardly network to ensure fast delivery.

To further the ability of the startup to personalise cards, Gaskin said Cardly is exploring ways to integrate AI to copy or recreate the handwriting style of the sender.

“We wanted investors who would understand the issues we would face across the digital elements of our business. The creative tech space is not well understood elsewhere and so it was an easy decision to collaborate with CEA,” Gaskin said.

Cardly’s appearance on Shark Tank saw the cofounders negotiate in large part with Simson, who saw an opportunity for the startup’s service to complement the offerings of her own business, Red Balloon, which is focused on the gifting space.

Having made $30,000 in sales to that point, Gaskin and Clift were initially looking for $250,000 in exchange for a seven percent stake from the sharks. Read more

Gina Baldassare - Startup Daily - 10 Jan 2018

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