Joy, a startup aiming to help brides-to-be plan their weddings in the digital age, has pulled in $4.5 million in seed capital.
Joy launched out of Y Combinator this summer with aims to take on what some might think of as a crowded industry. There are plenty of wedding websites in existence but many more popular sites like MyWedding.com, WeddingWire and TheKnot.com popped up years ago and are still a jumbled mess of services tapped on top of one another in an effort to help couples organize their big day.
But Joy incorporates assistive technology to pull it all together in one place from engagement to honeymoon and co-founder Vishal Joshi tells TechCrunch he’s now implemented a social twist to the platform as well, giving the wedding party the power to share photos and interact with one another before the big day and during the festivities.
Sierra Ventures and Matrix Partners led the round, with participation from Fuel Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures and a few angels including Joe Montana, Muse lead singer Matt Bellamy, Zynga’s Marc Pincus and TechCrunch’s former co-Editor in chief Alexia Tsotsis.
This is the first investment for Tsotsis, a newlywed herself. She says she chose this particular startup after recognizing the “siloed” nature of the online wedding space.
“There is no one-stop shop for your invite, CRM, planning and guest management needs,” Tsotsis said. “Joy aspires to be that one-stop shop, giving brides and grooms peace of mind, and better yet, joy.”
Joshi believes his startup could eventually go beyond weddings to bring more people that kind of “joy” and says that’s already started to happen a little bit. But part of adding to that happiness and peace of mind will come for Joshi when he can figure out a smarter guest management system.
Guest list management is a pain across most wedding websites I’ve tested, including the one I made for my own wedding on TheKnot.com.
The guest list function on my website confused a lot of my guests and often made duplicates, making it impossible for my husband and I to know how many guests to plan for without painstakingly combing through the list and trying to weed out copies.
“The space you are talking about it has been an impossible problem for everybody,” Joshi told me about the guest list issues when I first interviewed him about his startup in August.
But the problem proved to be more complicated than Joshi originally anticipated. But to be fair it’s only been a couple of months since I last spoke with Joshi and he tells me the guest list issue is something he’s hard at work on solving.
But despite the setback, Joy still seems to be a better experience than what else is out there and I wish it was around when I first started the planning process.
Already it seems at least some couples see the benefit of an all-in-one wedding planning platform as well. Four months ago when Joy started out it was pulling in 150 weddings a month. Joshi now tells me the site works with 150 weddings a day and that it’s already been used in over 100 countries.
That’s nowhere near what TheKnot or other incumbents have in numbers, but it’s a start.