Addwish is an online service to coordinate the gifts for celebrations, using a universal gift registry.

The Copenhagen startup, formerly known as GiftManager, was founded by Brian Petersen and Kasper Refskou Jensen and has recently relaunched as Addwish, reports Trendsonline.

Trendsonline.dk interviewed Kasper about the beginnings of Addwish, challenges, successes, and plans for the future. Here are some translated excerpts.

The first ideas were sparked years ago.

“Brian (Petersen, co-founder) saw at Imerco, a bride and groom can make a wish [list], and when guests come into the store, they can choose from the gifts the bride and groom want. Brian thought: why is it only in Imerco, you could ask for gifts, and why is not it online?” Kasper explained.

Gift recipients request ‘wishes’ things they actually want. Gift givers can reserve the ‘wishes’ they would like to give, without the recipient seeing who will give what. This makes it easy and fast to get ready for festive occasions, with no doubling-up on gifts.

“You have the opportunity to build ‘wishes’ lists both by typing direct into www.addwish.com but also through all the partner stores, using Addwish on their sites. Within a short time, you will also be able to expand your wish list while on the go via our app,” says Kasper.

“Our service is a valuable add-on for webstore core that complements the store experience good, but it’s also a service to users that solves a basic need for structure and coordination of wish lists up to Christmas, birthday, wedding and other special occasions,” explains Kasper.

The business model is built around the features Addwish offers for online stores. When a giver should buy a gift from the wish list, there are direct links to those products.

For sellers this means increased traffic and sale conversion rates, free marketing, free use, and support in multiple languages. Addwish has supports in English, German, Spanish, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. Collaborators been pleasantly surprised by the opportunities for them with Addwish.

“….among other things, [Addwish] promotes the store’s products to all Addwish users. When a user enters ‘wishes’ to Addwish, then we will make other appropriate suggestions based on our partner’s products,” says Kasper.

The idea has grown from being a leisure project to full-time work. In the beginning, Brian and Kasper’s work with Addwish was done in the evenings and on weekend as they both worked full-time. Today the situation is different, but there is still an eternal battle for prioritizing time and resources, which can be challenging.

Kasper believes, however, that it was really important from the start to ensure that the service works well both users and partners.

“In 2012, the traffic Addwish sent to its partners a conversion rate of over 10%, which is very high, especially when compared with other marketing services. Up to Christmas we saw conversion rates of over 30% in specific industries. That’s “best in class” at the conversion rate, so it is clear that we are a very valuable add-on for web shops,” says Kasper

He adds that the model in the future will be based on an affiliate solution, which enters revenue share arrangements on the traffic Addwish can generate to the partners.

In January Addwish received a reasonable seed investment from a venture capital firm, and they have right now focus on growth within the organization and with partners and users.

“Our service, in its basic structure, is very viral, and we can see that the spread of wish lists are gaining momentum. So we expect that as we improve and strengthen our service that our users are becoming more and more satisfied with what we contribute to people’s daily use of the network. To our partners, we seek to form some strategic partnerships with key online stores in Denmark, but also in the U.S., UK, Germany and other countries, “says Kasper

And what can we expect from the Copenhagen startup in the next six months?

“We are very optimistic about the future. We shall soon go to the U.S. to discuss possible areas of cooperation with some interesting companies. Similarly, it will be a very exciting Christmas 2013 where we hope to make it even easier to ask for gifts, now not only for the Danes, but for network users in general” says Kasper Refskou Jensen, co-founder of Addwish.