Wedwise Consultants Pvt Ltd, which operates WedWise, a portal for wedding planners, photographers, caterers and other related service providers, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from StartUp Equity Partners (STEP), co-founder Ginny Kohli has told VCCircle.
The funds will be primarily used for the development of Wedwise TV, a YouTube channel focused on wedding planning and wedding themes.
“WedWise is a close-knit community that allows people to look for wedding inspiration, find professionals to carry out certain tasks, or vendors to reach out to customers. So, we are both B2C and B2B,” said Kohli.
STEP, a boutique investment banking and consulting firm is founded by two investment bankers Neeraj Batra and Gunit Chadha. Batra has earlier worked with Bank of America, AMAS Group, and Hinduja Group. Chadha, an alumnus of The Wharton School, is the CEO of Deutche Bank Asia Pacific region. The firm offers strategic consulting on financial structuring and branding, acting as a startup accelerator, and picking up 15-40 per cent stake in its investee companies.
A bunch of startups that seek to connect couples with wedding planners has emerged in the last 12 months. The market for wedding-related services is estimated to be worth $40 billion in India, according to US-based venture capital firm CerraCap Ventures. Some of these ventures have also secured external funding. In a similar space, Weddingz.in, an online marketplace for wedding venues and vendors, has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A funding from consumer-centric venture fund Sixth Sense Ventures. Prior to that, the startup had raised about $1 million (around Rs 6.7 crore) in angel funding from a group of investors, including Google India’s managing director Rajan Anandan in December 2015.
Hyderabad-based With Ease Technologies India Pvt Ltd, which operates an integrated wedding services provider AppilyEver.com, has raised $400,000 (around Rs 2.75 crore) funding led by Varun Aggarwal, founder and COO of Univariety, and other angel investors.
Last month, New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) launched its wedding solutions platform Bandbaajaa.com. In December 2015, CerraCap had invested in NDTV’s subsidiary Special Occasions Ltd under which the portal is housed.
In September, wedding planning portal WedMeGood raised seed funding worth Rs 2.7 crore ($407,200) from Indian Angel Network. Others in the Indian online wedding planning space include WeddingPlz, PlanningWale and FullOnShaadi.
Wedwise was founded in May 2015 by Ginny Kohli. She has an engineering degree from Aston University in the UK and an MBA from Infinity Business School, and has earlier worked with Rolls Royce, London, and Groupon India.
The portal allows the customer to post a query to access vendors, and also see reviews and recommendations by others in the invite-only community.
The startup claims to have 25,000 members on the portal, of which close to 55 per cent are vendors or service providers. It also claims to have a query posted every hour, which gets a response in less than a minute.