With SmartGift anyone can send the perfect gift, which means eliminating gift returns and organically expanding a brand’s reach, while enabling employers to show employee and client appreciation.

Monika Kochhar

Founder & CEO


New York City, NY

Year Founded:



Fintech, commerce innovation

What first inspired you to build Smartgift?
I was on a trip to San Francisco when my best friend in NYC had just defended her Ph.D. thesis. I wanted to send her an immediate gift to congratulate her and knew that she wanted a formal office dress for upcoming interviews. That’s when it hit me, despite us spending so much time together – I really didn’t know her shipping address down to the zip code, I didn’t know what size would be a perfect fit nor the color she would prefer. That was the genesis of SmartGift.
Buying for others is incredibly difficult.

SmartGift removes the friction and augments the shopping experience to an entirely new level creating delight and thoughtfulness for customers and significant commerce efficiencies for retailers and brands.

Why is now the time for Smartgift to exist?
A confluence of forces has created a unified way of shopping in which payments and commerce are no longer silos but come together to bring a completely seamless experience. I think this tectonic shift has led to the ultimate disruption in commerce. If payments were a pain then buying online would be a pain too. If buying online were extremely annoying then consumers wouldn’t even get to the payment stage. The deep innovation in both has led to the next generation of customer experiences, shopping becomes a persona based journey. SmartGift sits at the intersection of commerce, payments, and social connections. With give now, pay later – we remove the friction inherent in gifting or peer to peer shopping. We have fundamentally arrived in the age of experiences that delight and make things as easy as possible. Consumers today expect natural and powerful interfaces at the tip of their fingers. We are thrilled to be among the trailblazers who are taking commerce experiences to their next step.

When did you realize you were really onto something with Smartgift?
At SmartGift, we constantly improve our platform by understanding the challenges that retailers face when implementing technology solutions. When we came to the market with our platform and saw the reaction of our retail partners – we knew that we were onto something truly transformative and innovative. Our brand partners can implement SmartGift in less than 10 days, which fulfilled our goal of creating something powerful and easy to set up.

Who do you look to for inspiration in your field and why?
I believe that the most unique perspectives come from interdisciplinary fields. From product design to emerging payment companies – we believe that collective innovation transpires fundamental change. Each successive product release, app release, and design blog is extremely helpful and inspiring.

What is your favorite work hack?
If something can be done in less than 3 minutes then get it done immediately.

What’s one piece of advice you would give a fellow entrepreneur?
Perseverance is everything. Connect with people in a genuine and open way and try to learn as much as possible from everyone. Speak less and listen more.

What do you want to be known for?
I am passionate about solving complex problems and moving human experiences forward through tech and design.

Words to live by?
We overestimate what we can achieve in a year and underestimate what we can achieve in a decade.