Wrapp has now launched in the United States, partnering their launch with retailers including the Gap, H&M, Rovio, and Sephora. We’ve been covering Wrapp for some time now, interviewing COO Carl Fritjofsson on our podcast and hosting CEO Hjalmar Winbladh at our ArcticEvening panel discussion in Stockholm. In both cases they stressed the importance of controlling the United States market, especially against the competition of the German Samwer Brothers’ Dropgifts.

At the ArcticEvening event I asked Winbladh if their biggest barrier to entry in the U.S. was selling the concept to large retailers. He said brands can easily see Wrapp’s value, but what was more important was being sure to get the right retailers on board for launch. Wrapp is opening in the U.S. with 10 brands, with another 15 merchants joining in a matter of weeks.

For those of you who haven’t seen our past coverage, Wrapp allows friends to give gift cards to one another through a Facebook-connected smartphone app. Wrapp allows friends to give many gift cards for free on birthdays and other special occasions, as well as purchase gift cards.

This model gets people into brick-and-morter stores, and has the added benefit of being seen as a gift, and not a discount that undervalues a product in consumers’ minds. The brand also gets added advertising when Wrapp users publish their gifts on Facebook.

While Wrapp has laid the groundwork to take on three continents, currently it’s live only in Sweden, Norway, the UK, and now the U.S..

Wrapp received $10.5 million A-round in January, and so far 1.5 million free promotional gift cards have been redeemed by over 60 major retailers in Europe. Participating merchants report that each sale averages four to six times the value of the free promotional gift card they let Wrapp users give to their friends.

The full list of launching retailers have a slight Swedish touch, and include:

  • Björn Borg – designer underwear
  • Brooklyn Industries – innovative designer clothes for men and women
  • Fab – daily design inspirations and sales
  • GANT – American sportswear with a European touch
  • Gap – casual, optimistic, American style
  • H&M – family fashion and quality at the best price
  • Happy Socks – designer socks online
  • Rovio Entertainment – creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchise
  • Sephora – unparalleled beauty paradise of makeup, skincare, fragrances, hair care and more
  • SpaFinder Wellness – feel-good possibilities from massage to yoga, Pilates and fitness classes
  • The Wall Street Journal – the country’s largest newspaper and leading business publication
  • Threadless – amazing graphic tees from a global community of designers
  • Warby Parker – eyewear with a purpose
  • Wayfair – furniture, lighting, cookware, and more for the home
  • WeSC – street style clothing and accessories