In early 2011, George Bousis was creating a loyalty and rewards platform for his family’s business when he developed the idea of a marketplace for gift cards. While George was establishing his business plan, he was introduced to Bradley Wasz through a family friend, and the two partners began building their vision of a one-stop-shop for consolidated savings.
Initially operating out of an apartment using an iPhone for Internet and dining room table as a makeshift office, George and Brad built what was then known as CouponTrade, a savings website for discount gift cards, coupons and other online deals.
Raise was launched on a quiet evening on February 2nd, 2013 as a marketplace devoted exclusively to buying and selling gift cards. The platform empowers consumers to increase their purchase power so they can give themselves a raise, and the name is a positive, uplifting way to refer to savings. Shoppers can buy discounted gift cards to save on everyday essentials, and sellers can earn cash for otherwise unwanted gift cards to spend when, where and how they choose.
What began in a small apartment with four employees has since transitioned into an 11,000 square foot loft in River North with more than 100 people on staff. As the business grew, the team expanded into web developers, designers, copywriters, account managers and member service agents to provide the best experience for buying and selling gift cards. CouponTrade remains a standalone platform for free online coupons, and we hope that everyone will visit both Raise and CouponTrade before they shop to give themselves a raise.