Cardpool has been Acquired by Blackhawk Network!

by anson on October 21, 2011

To Infinity And Beyond

We are thrilled to announce that Cardpool has been acquired by Blackhawk Network, a leading third party network for gift cards. You can read our official press release, and learn more at TechCrunch and GigaOM.

We think this is awesome news for all of our customers and want to make sure you know what’s happening and what this means for you.

What’s happening?

Technically speaking, Cardpool has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Blackhawk Network. From a practical standpoint, Cardpool is about to become much bigger and better for all of our customers.

Cardpool has been and always will be fanatically committed to providing the best customer experience and services possible. While we can’t share what we have planned for you quite yet, we can promise that the services you have come to know and love will only get better. To say that we are ridiculously excited for what’s in store for you would be an understatement.

Why is this happening?

Cardpool makes it ridiculously easy to buy and sell pre-owned gift cards. We help our rapidly growing loyal customer base save tens of millions of dollars each year, by offering the simplest, safest, and most convenient gift card exchange service.

Blackhawk Network is a leading provider of gift card, prepaid, telecom, and financial products. Every week, they reach more than 200 million consumers spanning 17 countries in a network of leading grocery, big box, convenience, pharmacy, and specialty stores including Safeway, Kroger, Tesco, Giant Eagle, Ahold, and Blackhawk Network helped define the gift card industry and took it mainstream by offering a convenient and powerful network for prepaid gifting.

When our two companies began discussing partnership opportunities earlier this year, we were amazed by how complementary our companies were. We started asking ourselves, what would happen if we took our gift card exchange service and combined it with their gift card network? After carefully discussing our visions, core values, and most importantly, our customer-centric cultures, we realized we could provide the best possible service to the most customers by working together under one roof.

We have no doubt that all of our customers will greatly benefit from Blackhawk’s incredible network and expertise around gift cards and prepaid gifting, and we look forward to bringing you greatly enhanced services in the near future.

What is the Cardpool Story?

We started Cardpool in 2009 on the belief that no gift card should go unused. In 2010, consumers in America spent nearly $100 billion on gift cards, so it is only natural that some of these gift cards remain unused in our wallets, purses, and sock drawers. Our mission is to solve the problem of having unused gift cards by creating the best customer-centric gift card exchange service in the world, where customers can buy, sell, and trade their gift cards. By gathering all gift card buyers and sellers in one place, we believe we can help everyone get exactly what they want, whether it’s a discount to a favorite store, a different gift card, or simply cash.

When we publicly launched Cardpool in 2010, many people thought we were crazy. Some even called us names. We were the underdogs. Underfunded. Understaffed. Very late to the game. Some competitors had 20 times more capital than us, 10 times more employees than us, and a 4-year head start. Skeptics asked us, how could our tiny little startup possibly compete with our much larger and more established competitors?

Perhaps we were a little crazy and a little delusional, but we had one secret weapon. We decided from the very beginning, we would always be fanatically passionate about serving our customers. And thankfully, our customers have given us the opportunity to earn their business.

Thanks to all of our customers who gave our little startup a chance, we experienced tremendous growth during the 20 months following launch. Although we can’t share our sales numbers with you, we can tell you that while we originally hoped to make $100,000 in gift card sales in 2010, we did quite a bit better than that and due to overwhelming demand, are now processing over $100,000 in gift cards PER DAY.

This makes our small little startup not so small, reaffirming our belief that the success of our business begins and ends with the customer experience, and that a small group of incredibly talented and passionate people can accomplish anything.

The best part is, this is only the beginning. Starting today, with Blackhawk Network, we have a very aggressive plan to make Cardpool much bigger and better than ever before and we can’t wait to show you what we have planned.

What’s next?

All of us at Cardpool would like to thank all of our family, friends, investors, advisors, and most importantly, customers, for giving our startup a chance to succeed. Whether we are helping customers save money on wedding rings for loved ones, care packages for troops, supplies for victims of natural disasters, or items for every day living, we are truly honored to be given such a wonderful opportunity to positively touch and affect the lives of all of our customers.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you over the past two years. As we look into the future, we are excited to further enhance our service and offerings for you, and look forward to serving you, “to infinity, and beyond.”

Anson, Tim, and the entire team at Cardpool

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