Karma lets you send gifts by phone to Facebook friends

A new app from the founders of Tapjoy is emerging to combine mobile and social commerce on iOS and Android devices. The app, called Karma, makes gifting to friends a breeze, by integrating with a user’s social graph on Facebook and suggesting gifts for them.

What’s nice about the Karma app is that users can send gifts almost instantaneously, without having to enter their billing information before doing so. You also don’t need to have the address or contact info of the recipient — they enter that information when they choose to accept a gift.

It also allows users to send a personalized note to people they’re gifting, either by SMS, posted on their Facebook walls, or by email. Those receiving gifts can even choose between options or swap out something they’ve been given if they’re not thrilled with what was initially gifted to them.

One of the more interesting aspects about the Karma mobile experience isn’t just that it makes gifting by phone ultra-easy, but that it helps to highlight the news around friends and family that actually matters. There’s so much noise on Facebook that it’s difficult to tell now when a friend is having a birthday, or if someone got engaged or is having a baby. The Karma app, by contrast, uses semantic analysis to determine events that are worth gifting people for.

Karma was founded by Lee Linden and Ben Lewis, co-founders of Tapjoy, which was acquired by Offerpal Media after reaching more than $100 million in revenue. According to SEC filings, Karma has raised $2.3 million through last November, although Linden disputes that figure, saying the firm has raised more (but less than $5 million in total). Backers include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital, and Evan Williams and Biz Stone’s Obvious Corp.