Irish gifting platform &Open, which raised €6 million earlier this year from a number of leading tech veterans, is to create 100 new jobs over the next 12 months.
The company is also making preparations to secure further investment with it looking to raise a significant multimillion euro sum from backers as it seeks to expand further into Europe and the US.
The new roles to be created will be across a number of functions, including product, engineering, sales, customer success and operations. They will bring total headcount at the company to 160 following a tripling of employees during the year.
The company is headquartered in Dublin but said it is equipped to hire fully-remote employees.
The jobs announcement comes as the company, which predominantly works with larger companies, prepares to open up its platform for smaller businesses to use.
&Open has developed a gifting platform that makes it easier for brands to send carefully-selected gifts to customers to boost loyalty and engagement. The company was founded in 2017 by Ciara Flood, and Jonathan and Mark Legge.
The company works directly with brands to curate high-quality, design-led and responsibly-sourced gifts for customers and campaigns, from beeswax candles to luxury skincare, a subscription or even a charity donation.
Its clients include Airbnb, Intercom, Peleton and Spotify. More recently it has also teamed up with Reebok to distribute its products via the &Open platform, and is in talks with a number of well-known fashion brands to do similar.
The number of gifts sent via &Open has jumped from 3,500 to 35,000 a week over the last six months with a 300 per cent rise in average recurring revenue (ARR) and a 240 per cent increase in new client growth since the start of the year.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Jonathan Legge, the company's chief executive, said &Open has seen a huge increase in inbound inquiries of late following an advertising campaign that ran in publications such as the Financial Times and New York Times.
Half of all inquiries received are from SMEs who have been unable to afford the minimum purchase amount for orders on the platform. This will change in April 2022 when the company launches a self-service option that allows smaller companies to avail of &Open.
Mr Legge said he wasn’t sure exactly how big a slice of revenues this would create but that he expected it would come to represent a significant amount of group turnover over time.
He added that much of the current growth seen by the company relates to companies providing gifts to their employees, which he said had become more critical as a way to thank staff who may no longer be working in offices.
&Open raised $7.2 million (€6 million) in investment in May in a funding round led by First Round Capital. Other participants included PCH founder Liam Casey, Intercom co-founder Des Traynor and Brian Caulfield, a venture partner at Draper Esprit who also formerly co-founded Exceptis Technologies and Similarity Systems.
“We have some leading VCs knocking on our door wanting to talk to us so we are quietly engaging with them but we’re not in a hurry on this,” said Mr Legge.
“Having said that, all our competitors have raised money in the last few months on really large valuations and they are all going after the same space so we will be fundraising and are focused on securing the right partners to back our vision,” he added.