“Shark Tank’s” Barbara Corcoran and other investors have backed a popular mobile photo-sharing application called WedPics, designed for use by wedding couples and their guests. The additional funding brings the Raleigh, N.C.-area startup’s total Series B round to $6.5 million, a combination of equity and debt.
This is actually the second close on the Series B (the earlier part which we reported back in December), as the round ended up being oversubscribed. The new part includes an additional $2.25 million on top of funds raised previously. Corcoran and her business partner Phil Nadel, a co-founder at Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners, both ended up investing personally in WedPics, as well as via their AngelList syndicate. That syndicate included Brad Feld, as well as investors hailing from Twitter and Apple.
Others participating in the Series B include Middleland Capital, WTI (both equity and debt) and several Bay Area angels.
In December, Miller said that WedPics was acquiring 25,000 to 30,000 new brides to its photo and video-sharing service per month, and acquiring weddings at a cost of under $2 per wedding. The company was hosting over 6,000 weddings each weekend during the busy summer wedding season, with 175,000 guests joining.
At the time, 2.5 million total users had downloaded WedPics in order to snap and share photos of the wedding and the wedding-related associated events, like rehearsal dinners and receptions. Another 35 percent of its user base are web-only users.
Since then, the momentum has continued, and Miller says that WedPics just saw over 40,000 new brides join WedPics in the month of January alone. That’s 198 percent year-over-year growth, he points out, adding that the company sees at least 1,000 brides per day signing up for the service.
The company’s current goal is to reach 800,000 new couples by the end of 2015, up from 300,000 last year. Some of those customers’ weddings will likely spill over onto the following year, but WedPics hopes to host around half a million or more weddings this year alone.
To get to this point, WedPics is considering making some acquisitions in the wedding space, and is looking at a variety of companies now, including competitors or even printing businesses. The latter would help it capture additional revenue by offering WedPics’ customers wedding-related printed goods, such as invitations and thank you cards among other things.
The company, which grew in part thanks to its Facebook presence, is also now advertising on Pinterest, which has helped bring user acquisition costs down, and is getting ready to experiment with ads on Tumblr, too.
Miller also attributes much of WedPics’ success to a sort of scrappiness that comes from companies based outside the Valley. “From an ad perspective, we do a good job at attracting new users. And once we have new users, we do a good job at creating a viral appeal to their guest list,” he says.
The app, which also points guests to accommodations, registries and events, works as a sort of one-stop-shop for connecting with a couple’s wedding from your mobile phone. Users so far have responded well to the app’s simplicity and ease-of-use, which has allowed WedPics to nail down the private, social experience that is weddings-related photo sharing.
Now the company wants to know just how well it’s doing. It hired its first data scientist to analyze what makes a successful wedding. Those with a certain number of photos or guests obviously make the grade, but the best is when one wedding leads to another, thanks to guests who remember to use the app again when it comes time for their big day.