TC50: Cocodot Is The Stylish, Prettier, More Social Evite

Online event planning and invitation platform Evite was on the forefront of innovation—ten years ago. TechCrunch50 startup Cocodot is hoping to be the Evite of this generation of web technology, serving a style-conscious, eco-friendly event platform that people and brands can use to create an online presence for celebrations.

Cocodot’s platform, which is targeted towards women, is a one-stop-shop for event planning and invitations. You can create a high resolution, chic, stylish invitation (that can be printed as well), a vertical event pages, guest management tools, seating charts, and a directory for event planning vendors. When you create event, you can build an event homepage that aims to be a social conversation hub. Once you create an invitation, you can import your contact lists from Yahoo, Gmail, AOL and other contact managers and email services. Cocodot also lets you send links to the event homepage and invitation to Facebook, directly from the platform.

Cocodot is also getting into the online greeting space, letting user create a simple “happy birthday” or “Thank you” online card. The graphics and styles are actually pretty impressive. Users can adjust color and text, move the graphics and text and even offers a “copy concierge” to help people think of thoughtful sayings.

Unsurprisingly, Cocodot is going after the wedding industry by providing high-end printable online invitations and a event management platform. Cocodot also lets you embed custom event widgets on other sites and features a variety of design-friendly templates. Cocodot plans to make money from subscriptions and per use fees and will sell virtual goods. The startup is also positioning itself to be eco-friendly, by saving paper from sending out invitations. Cocodot will make money via ad revenue, premium features, virtual gifts and through product lines and licensing designs.

Cocodot was launched by former MySpace CMO Shawn Gold and raised just under $1 million of seed funding earlier this summer from investors like Anthem Venture Partners and William Morris’ Mail Room Fund.

Cocodot is similar to Pinng, which we wrote about here.

Expert Panel Q&A (paraphrased)

The experts: Satish Dharmaraj, Lior Zorea, Bradley Horowitz, Tim O’Reilly, Kevin Rose

BH: I don’t want to like this but I think the world needs this. The exisiting invitation tools are not sufficient and this could take off.

TO: You think about a company like Hallmark, its a huge business opportunity, and I think you are thinking like a business, will probably be successful.

SD: I think you should try to differentiate yourself a little more. What happens after the event is booked?

LZ: I like what you guys are doing. How do you get consumer mind share out ther for the product, particularly in teh case of weddings.

A: Every invitation is virally marketed because its branded with Cocodut. We are going to do partnerships with other sites like DailyCandy and pursue a revenue share. We are going after PR agencies and companies that don’t like Evite and are using PDF’s, not taking advantage of he efficiencies in the digital medium.



Outside Coverage:
Cocodot – For Overdoing Invitations #tc50 techgeist.
Cocodot creates a slicker version of Evite VentureBeat.
TechCrunch50: A ‘Elegant’ Evite and More Subscription Services AppScout.