A look at the online gift card marketplace Raise (plus advice on how to get hired there)

Raise launched in 2013 with a goal to change the gift card industry and help individuals give themselves a raise. The online gift card marketplace allows users to sell gift cards for cash or buy discount gift cards from all different brands. Learn all about the company changing the gift card game, including advice from the CEO on how to get hired there.

Raise rundown

Size: About 150 employees

Industry: Internet

Locations: The company’s headquarters is in Chicago, Illinois.

Founded: 2013

Founder: George Bousis

CEO: Jay Klauminzer

Mission: The company’s mission is to help “give yourself a raise.”

How much do Raise employees make?

The average salary for a Raise employee is $125,000 per year. Ladders estimates are based on our calculations.

Raise Jobs

Raise is currently hiring for a variety of open positions, including a Digital Marketing Manager and a Senior Software Engineer to join the team in Chicago, Illinois. Find a full list of open roles on Ladders’ Raise Jobs page.

Office Life

At the Raise office, they live by the “work hard, play hard” mentality.

“We hustle at Raise so we try to spice things up and make work a fun environment by hosting national days like grilled cheese day, bring your own dip day and read a book day,” said Alice Huang, the manager of data science and data engineering.

Additionally, each department picks a theme for the monthly potluck where everyone cooks or bakes to the theme and brings in their goods to share with the whole team.

“Some of our favorite potluck themes have been Family Favorites hosted by Finance and Mediterranean cuisine hosted by our Engineering team,” Huang said.

In addition to sharing meals, Raise aims to have a culture of collaboration and participation.

“We’re building a culture where every employee, from the C-Suite down to entry-level employees, has a seat at the table,” said Raise CEO Jay Klauminzer. “I learned in my consulting days that people really do have an obligation to dissent. If something doesn’t look, feel or smell right, employees have an obligation to stand up and yell.”

According to Klauminzer, some of the most influential product features have come directly from member service agents that were standing up and fighting for their customers.

“If you create a culture where everyone can feel safe and act like an owner, you’ll get the best ideas much faster than you would from living in the ‘ivory tower’ of a top executive,” Klauminzer said.

Getting hired at Raise

When it comes to getting hired at Raise, putting an emphasis on collaboration during your interviews is key.

“Collaboration, creativity, and resourcefulness,” said Huang when asked what traits she looks for in potential employees. “As an organization, the key to our success is cross-functional support. Everyone works together as one team to find the best solutions that address the business challenges head-on.”

What CEO Jay Klauminzer says it takes to get hired

When it comes to interviewing, Klauminzer emphasizes that candidates should remember that they are interviewing the company as much as it is interviewing them.

“When thinking of changing jobs, it’s an inherently big risk and you should make sure the culture matches your style — for example, Raise’s ‘obligation to dissent’ culture isn’t for everyone,” Klauminzer told Ladders.

He recommends coming with a list of prepared questions and tailoring that list depending on who is interviewing you. The questions portion at the end of an interview isn’t just a formality, Klauminzer emphasized, but a “chance to show you’ve thought critically about the company’s business model, their culture, and how you will contribute from your very first day.”

“This part of the interview is often my favorite because the dialogue that comes out of it really demonstrates if the candidate has a growth mindset,” Klauminzer said.

Additionally, Klauminzer recommends practicing your responses so that you’re able to be “crisp with your communications.” When candidates ramble during interviews, many times interviewers lose focus and the message isn’t conveyed.

“Set up your responses with a simple structure, such as, ‘One time I did that was x — I learned y and did that by testing 1, 2, and 3.’ Then use that structure as you give more details,” Klauminzer said. “It’s definitely okay to ask for and spend a few seconds structuring what you want to stay.”

Funding and acquisitions

Raise has raised $147.2 million over six funding rounds. The latest round, a Series C, was announced on Sept. 19, 2017, and raised $60 million.

The company acquired Slide on June 24, 2016, and Tastebud on Aug. 20, 2015.

Employee benefits

  • Health, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Company-paid short term and long-term disability insurance
  • 401K plan with matching up to 4%
  • Flexible paid time off policy
  • Paid time off for volunteering
  • Pre-tax commuter program
  • Paid maternity leave
  • Paid parental leave

Employee perks

  • Raise Cash for employees
  • Company provided breakfast, coffee, and soda
  • Voluntary benefits like pet insurance and identity protection

Raise employee reviews 2019

Reviews on Glassdoor range from one-star reviews titled “raise your chances of success by seeking employment elsewhere” to five-star reviews stating that Raise is a “fun place to work” with “so much potential.”

“The company has much better focus in the last several months, as new leaders have been brought in and really helped create the vision,” one reviewer wrote. “The company has so much potential in the future. Who doesn’t want to save money?”

What does Raise do?

With Raise, users can either buy or sell gift cards to a wide range of retailers. The program is designed to save users money and allow them to earn rewards on each purchase. The company partners with over 500 retailers as a consumer engagement solution.

In August the company launched its Exact Pay feature, which allows users to buy a gift card for the exact amount they are going to spend and receive Raise Cash that you can instantly put towards future Raise orders.