Giveaway Startup Lets People Trade Unwanted Stuff For eCurrency

Giveaway Lets People Trade Stuff For eCurrency

The Belarus-based tech startup Giveaway has launched a marketplace platform to help people match up their unwanted stuff with others who are excited to get it, as reported on Thursday (March 12).

Backed by seed funder Y Combinator, Giveaway uses virtual currency – dubbed “Karma coins” – to incentivize people to list their items for free. Those coins are then used to “buy” listed items. Karma coins are valued at 30 cents each.

The app-based platform also allows people to buy the eCurrency if they don’t list an item but want to shop on the site.

Giveaway was founded by Artem Artemiuk, Siarhei Lepchankou and Siarhei Stasilovich while they were traveling in Austria. The trio recognized the opportunity for big companies to list items instead of recycling or discarding them.

The company takes a percentage of all Karma coins purchased on the platform, which is a total of about 30 percent.

Belarus, a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, is becoming known for tech startups and software engineers.

Giveaway has raised $150,000 from Silicon Valley’s startup funder Y Combinator, which backs early-stage startups. The company is scheduled to present at Y Combinator’s upcoming 30th demo day, which was originally scheduled on March 23 but has been moved to March 16 for an online-only event due to the coronavirus pandemic. The two-day, invitation-only event features founders from its most recently funded startups talking about their companies. Attendees are comprised of hand-picked investors and media.

Y Combinator was founded by Paul Graham and Jessica Livingston in 2005. The accelerator and venture fund helped finance the growth of Airbnb, Cruise Automation, Dropbox and Stripe, all valued in excess of $1 billion.

The Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus is reportedly intending to support a legal initiative that would allow them to seize digital currency from criminals.