Photo: Boomerang’s PR
Boomerang, a Chicago startup that lets Facebook users gift tangible items to friends, has raised nearly $1 million from Lighbank.Lighbank is an early stage investment firm founded by Groupon founders’ Eric Lefkofsky ad Brad Keywell.
Its CEO and founder Zachary Smith raised $800,000 in February with Brittany Laughlin to found a different startup focused on travel called Gtrot.
Smith raised the new round in April to pivot into Boomerang. Laughlin remains on the board but left day to day operations a few months ago and is working on a new project helping veterans land jobs. Smith is running both Gtrot and Boomerang himself.
Boomerang uses Facebook to alert users of important dates, like friends’ birthdays. It works with small businesses — currently 40 in the Chicago area — to let you buy and send physical items from their stores.
“We haven’t seen a platform that makes it this easy to keep track of important events and send personalised gifts for local, real-world experiences,” says Smith of his idea. “Boomerang allows businesses to tap into their loyal customers’ gift spending. We’re going to help local merchants win a much, much larger share of the $100 billion giftcard market.