Founder(s) Interview VC Insider News x Camdy

A Game Changer for the Billion Dollar Gift Industry

Festive season is (always) around the corner. This means it’s time to think about gifts. Coming out with gift ideas for everyone can be stressful. Fret not, Camdy, a personalised gift marketplace startup, is here to help. Not only are Camdy’s gifts unique, they also carry a deeper meaning.

We love buying gifts for people because there is nothing more rewarding than putting a smile on the faces we care about. However, ironically, we often don’t know what to buy.

“Most people are having a hard time finding a perfect gift because they actually have no idea what to get. This is the pain point we are solving,” says Edward Chee, founder and CEO of the Malaysia-based online gift marketplace startup, Camdy.

The platform was officially launched in May 2017. Basically, when you go on Camdy’s website, you would get lists of recommended gifts according to occasions and recipient profiles. All the items suggested are available for purchase within the same platform.

“We are different from other online marketplaces, such as Lazada and 11 Street. The products on Camdy are unique items handcrafted by local artisans. Most of them can be customised and personalised, and they are often available in small quantity. We think this is what makes us special. More importantly, we are supporting small creative business, giving them a better means to get their products out there in the market,’’ says Edward.

Edward also reveals that Camdy is working on developing the company’s capability to offer gift wrapping and same day delivery services for their customers.

“Now when we buy an item online, even if it is meant to be a gift, it will not be delivered as a gift. It often comes in a brown box or envelope, which is not very nice looking. Currently, there is no way you can buy a gift, get it wrapped and delivered entirely via an online platform,” says Ahmed Zafar, Camdy’s co-founder and chief technology officer. Ahmed has been working with Edward for the past three years on a couple of ventures before arriving at Camdy. Ahmed believes that Camdy will change the way we shop for gifts — it will be more pleasant, efficient and meaningful.

A Thriving Industry

Many things come and go. But we humans will never stop buying gifts because we depend on it to help us build and strengthening relationships with people who matters. The caveat in this though is our ability to present the right gifts to the right people at the right time. That’s why we often see many gift guides being created around festive seasons because we care about getting the perfect gifts. Here is one from tech news media, TechCrunch.

TechCrunch Gift Guide 2017
A screenshot from TechCrunch website

The gift industry is a thriving industry. However, the market craves new innovations in the process of giving and receiving gifts. Just a few months ago, the New-York based Token, an AI-powered gift-giving startup, received a fresh $2.5 million in seed funding, led by Upfront Ventures with participation from Slow Ventures and Human Ventures.

“I couldn’t sleep all night one day because I was too excited thinking about all the ideas to grow Camdy,” says Keith Liew, who joined Camdy about two months ago as a co-founder and senior marketing manager. Keith was very intrigued by Camdy’s mission when he met Edward in an event. Started off as a digital marketing services provider, he eventually joined the Camdy team fully to take on a bigger role to help steer Camdy forward.

Empowering Small Creative Businesses

Another notable trend in the gift industry is the rising demand for handcrafted, unique products globally. Consumers today demand transparency. They care more and more about where something comes from, who produces it, under what conditions do they produce it.

In Camdy, they work with local artisans. Not only do they offer them an effective avenue to monetise their products, Camdy also helps tell their story, giving them an opportunity to build a sustainable business.

“We handpick the artisans whose products are uniquely creative. We won’t settle until we find one-of-a-kind products that will be perfect as a gift and that you can’t find it elsewhere,” says Faizal Ramli, co-founder and business development manager of Camdy, “We also work very closely with the artisans to understand their needs so that we are able to help address them.”

According to reports, the artisan sector is part of a much larger global creative economy that, if it were a country, would already be equal to the fourth-largest economy in the world.

Edward recalls one of the artisans they work with “Raymond makes this really nice EcoCube with real living moss inside. Ever since he joined us in July 2017, he had sold almost 100 pieces, with a total transaction of more than RM8,000. And he is really pleased to work with us.”

Raymond’s EcoCube: One of Camdy’s objectives is to help empower local artisans so that they can build a sustainable business by providing with an effective online platform to sell their products. 

People choose artisans products because they like the originality and creativity. There is an honesty in these items that is difficult to find out here.

“Apart from Camdy’s mission to make gift shopping experience more pleasant and convenient, we also put a lot of emphasis on growing the community of small creative businesses,” says Edward, “That’s what keeping us motivated. Every transaction we do means so much more — for the gift buyer, the gift recipient and the artisan who makes the product.”

As a startup, Camdy prioritises team work and pay close attention to market needs. Started off as a photo app to help people preserve their memories digitally, Camdy has pivoted strategically to arrive at today’s strong focus on growing as a personalised gift marketplace. Camdy is gaining positive traction and the team is confident that they on to something.

Camdy is currently raising its second round of funding of RM1.6 million to help grow the company.

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This story is written in collaboration with Camdy. If you are keen to be featured here, drop us a note at 


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