AN AWARD-winning firm that helps hospitality businesses sell their experiences as gifts online has been bought by a technology group.

Giftpro – which works with brands such as the Ivy Collection, the Pig and Harbour Hotels – has been acquired by London-based ClearCourse Partnership LLP for an undisclosed sum.

Lymington-based Giftpro recently won the ExxonMobil Award for Innovation title at the New Forest Brilliance in Business Awards.

Founded in 2014, it offers a software platform that allows hotels, restaurants, spas and other venues to sell and manage gift vouchers and tickets.

The customisable platform offers an end-to-end service, creating an online store and providing merchandising, promotional tools, payment processing and fulfilment capabilities. Its clients also include Jason Atherton and Searcys.

Giftpro’s team, including its management, will continue running the business.

Gerry Gualtieri, chief executive of ClearCourse, said: “Giftpro is a creative and fast-growing business with a strong focus on providing excellent customer service. There is a great opportunity for Giftpro to synergise with our group companies that have direct consumer offerings, allowing them to provide a more integrated and holistic offering to customers than they are able to do on their own.

“We look forward to working closely with the Giftpro team as they continue to develop and grow their business.”

Will Howard, managing director of Giftpro, said: “Giftpro was established in a bid to re-invent e-commerce for the hospitality industry and to build sustainable products that are human centred and results driven.

“Since then, we’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s most renowned hospitality brands who share our passion for progress and innovation.

“Together with ClearCourse, we will be able to continue to make e-commerce less complicated for our clients and create value within the group through the power of shared technology.”

Giftpro says the acquisition by ClearCourse will allow it to expand its offering with a broader range of payment types, including recurring payments, instalments and other means for buying higher value vouchers online.

The deal will also create cross-selling opportunities for other ClearCourse companies which provide consumer offerings such as sports clubs, spas and health centres, which are increasingly selling gift vouchers.

Richard Hull, co-founder and creative director of Giftpro, said: “Since launching five years ago, we are proud to have built an outstanding team who are results-orientated and committed to continuing to help our clients grow. As a business we are constantly looking for ways to improve our services, and our relationship with ClearCourse will help our clients achieve better results through implementing new and creative ways for them to generate revenue online.”