Published On: Mon, Dec 29th, 2014

Voucher Trading Startup Zeek Moves into UK Market


New Israeli startup Zeek, which helps people swap and sell unwanted gift vouchers with a mobile app, has announced its launch in the UK. This is especially timely since it came just after Christmas when countless people received gift certificates for stores and goods that they do not want or need.

To use Zeek you simply need to download the free app from the App Store or Google Play, upload an unwanted gift voucher, set the price wanted and wait for a buyer. Zeek will send cash directly to sellers and vouchers to buyers, so everyone can get on with the purchases they would prefer to make, with either the cash they wanted, or a bonus on their voucher.

Today marked the opening of Zeek’s UK marketplace, the first outside of Israel, available on iPhone and Android, in time for those unwanted Christmas gift cards. The company says that the UK Gift Card and Voucher Association values the market at $8 billion per year, with $480 million going unused. The majority of gift vouchers are purchased between the 22nd and 25th of December.

The company’s research into the UK gift voucher market shows most people receive 1-5 gift cards per year, yet 47% of those people leave them to expire or lose them, resulting in over $1.5 billion of wasted money.

Zeek co-founder Itay Erel’s said that he got the idea after a $1, 000 gift voucher, which he received for his wedding, spent a year in his wallet, before becoming a worthless piece of paper when it expired. Erel says that his research revealed that about 30% of the world’s vouchers go unused each year, amounting to around $105 billion worth of store credit ending up in the garbage. Along with co-founder Daniel Zelkind, Ziv Isaiah and Chairman Uri Levin, the founder of $1.3 billion global mapping service Waze, Erel founded Zeek, a gift voucher marketplace that has grown to 70, 000 users in only 10 months, saving over $200, 000 worth of vouchers.

Zeek CEO, Daniel Zelkind said: “We’re delighted to be bringing Zeek to the UK in time for Boxing Day. British people love online shopping, but love a bargain even more. Nobody likes to be told where they have to shop, so if you’d rather have cash, or get some free credit at a store you know you love, Zeek’s the app to reduce the cash that turns to trash.”

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