Wedding Spot, an online site to help future brides and grooms search, price, and compare wedding venues, has raised $225,000 in seed funding. Investors include Internet veterans Erik Blachford (former CEO of Expedia), Eric Liaw (Institutional Venture Partners), and David Rodnitzky (Founder & CEO of 3Q Digital).
Wedding Spot, Inc., the first online site to help future brides and grooms search, price, and compare wedding venues, today announced it has raised $225,000 in seed funding from Internet veterans Erik Blachford (former CEO of Expedia), Eric Liaw (Institutional Venture Partners), and David Rodnitzky (Founder & CEO of 3Q Digital). This is the first round of funding for Wedding Spot (www.wedding-spot.com) and will help the Company expand nationally after its successful launch in California and New York.
Since August 2013, Wedding Spot has worked directly with hundreds of venues to provide transparency in pricing to help newly engaged couples find their perfect wedding venue. For the first time, couples can retrieve price quotes from venues without having to spend hours on the phone, sending emails, or tracking down wedding information packets. Couples can “build out” their ideal wedding day, select specific services and options to price out each venue, and compare them to have an apples-to-apples view of the estimated costs. If the venue falls within their budget limit, they can book an appointment to view the venue with one click of a button. “Wedding Spot has been a valuable resource while we were looking for a venue for our wedding day,” said Nihil Patel, a Wedding Spot user. “By using Wedding Spot we were able to narrow down the list of venues based on location, style, and price, and then book an appointment with the venues to determine our final choice. It has really been a great way to synthesize information. I would recommend Wedding Spot to every newly engaged couple looking to start the planning process.” Patel and his fiancée used Wedding Spot to book their wedding at The Bently Reserve in San Francisco, CA and will be getting married next year.
Wedding Spot is also helping wedding venues generate more qualified leads. As most venue wedding coordinators are inundated with wedding inquires, they struggle with identifying which leads are a good fit for their venue. Since Wedding Spot’s proprietary technology platform books appointments with brides who have already priced out each venue and know that it fits their budget, Wedding Spot’s venues are seeing conversion rates in the 40-50 percent range versus typical single digit conversion rates in the industry. “We’ve been very impressed with the customers Wedding Spot has referred to us so far,” said Caren Pearlman from The Mountain Terrace, a Wedding Spot venue. “Unlike the leads we get from other wedding sites, these couples have done their research and are ready to book a wedding. Wedding Spot has saved our team a significant amount of time because they are basically conducting the first initial consultation for us and then handing off the leads that are vetted.”
“Since launching just three months ago, we have now helped more than 20,000 users on our site to easily find venues that fit their budget and style. When you provide brides and grooms with more transparency, they will make more informed decisions and the end result is beneficial to everyone involved in the process, “ said Tina Hoang-To, CEO & Co-Founder of Wedding Spot. “We’re excited to expand our technology platform to allow users to search, price, and compare wedding vendors such as caterers and photographers as well, bringing efficiency to the entire wedding industry.”
“The wedding industry is a $161 billion market in the U.S. Until Wedding Spot, this industry has come up short on efficiency and transparency. Wedding Spot gives wedding venues technology to manage their entire business process online, helping to sift through thousands of inquiries a month and bubbling up only the leads that have a high probability of booking the venue,” said Erik Blachford, former CEO of Expedia. “This is a much needed change from the offline process that venues have been accustomed to for decades, where hours are spent each day qualifying leads by phone and in person.”
Wedding Spot was founded by Tina Hoang-To, a former venture capital investor at Technology Crossover Ventures, and David Ko, a Principal Engineer from Eventbrite. Hoang-To came up with the idea after planning her own wedding in early 2012. After being overwhelmed by the idea of having to research hundreds and possibly even thousands of wedding venues, she decided to build a site that would help millions of brides after her.
Wedding Spot is currently operating in California and New York with hundreds of venues listed. Soon-to-be brides and grooms can use Wedding Spot for free. There is a freemium model available for wedding venues that want to be listed on the site, which comes with the additional benefits of a variety of lead management tools. After the trial period, participating venues pay on a per appointment basis similar to restaurant booking platform, OpenTable.
About Wedding Spot, Inc.
Wedding Spot is the first online site that allows users to search, price, and compare hundreds of wedding venues. Working directly with venues, Wedding Spot gathers all the information required to allow newly engaged couples to easily search for venues based on budget, location, style, and guest count. Users can “build out” their ideal wedding day by selecting specific services and options to see a price estimate and then book a venue viewing appointment with one click of a button. Wedding Spot’s proprietary technology enables wedding venues to manage their entire wedding booking process on its platform, including acquiring customers, organizing content, and marketing inventory. Launched in August 2013, Wedding Spot is based in San Francisco, CA and is backed by leading angel investors.