In August 2015, we signed an LOI to sell GiftCards.com to Blackhawk Network.
We closed in January 2016 for $120M. After the sale, we decided to invest into GiftYa, as well as GiftCardGranny (which we still owned).
We went back to the FI’s, Visa, and Mastercard and discovered that Visa and Mastercard finally had API’s and Financial Institution's no longer ‘owned’ their customers.
We were super excited, so we hired 7-8 people and started to build GiftYa. Again.
By mid 2016 we had access to Visa API sandbox and were working to get GiftYa working. While working on our agreement with Visa at the end of the year in 2016, they denied us. And then went silent.
We were devastated….we had GiftYa ready to go and a team of people, but it would not work unless we had Visa on board. This started the long, long journey of trying to get Visa to approve GiftYa.