Just in time for the holiday season, a group of prominent Los Angeles entertainment and technology executives have come together to back the new startup, Enjoius, which aims to make it easier for hosts to plan their perfect party.
Committing to the $1.4 million round of funding were Nancy Tellem, the executive chairman of Eko Studio and former president of CBS Network Television; Daniel Murray, the Dollar Shave Club chief financial officer; Angela Mathes, who previously helmed ABC Daytime TV; and Kent Wakeford, an esports entrepreneur.
Founded by former Comcast media executive Christopher Cunningham, Enjoius launched after Cunningham had his own struggles planning a friend’s 40th birthday party.
After some investigation, Cunningham uncovered a $200 billion market for party and event planning (including weddings).
Since 2014, Cunningham has been perfecting the service, adding a number of event professionals and signing up vendors that sell their wares through the Enjoius site.
“We sell dinnerware and content,” Cunningham says. “[The site] helps brands sell those products more effectively and layer in advice from local pros.”
For consumers, Enjoius is a lifestyle platform where hosts and hostesses can get ideas for how to throw a party. From “getting personalized event design services that makes it easy for them to get step-by-step advice and hire the right pros all on one platform to giving them tools to help them be successful and tools to reduce stress,” Enjoius is a one-stop party shop, says Cunningham.
Typically, Enjoius’ customers are the folks that will spend between $500 and $1,000 per event and need a bit of guidance on how to get the best bang for the buck, according to the company.
These are the “digital millennial moms,” Cunningham says. They’re between 25- and 45-years-old with kids at home, who’re looking for help throwing a party.
The business, which launched in 2015, has a small amount of revenue coming in, but initially Cunningham focused on building out the service providers and vendors that would bring new customers through the door.
Th company boasts 600,000 event professionals using its platform now, and it has partnered with 140 celebrity stylists and tastemakers, like the chef Lulu Powers, and Katie Brown, the host of PBS’ “The Katie Brown Workshop.”
Now, with his $1.4 million in hand, Cunningham is ready to explore money-making options, like taking a cut from the sales of home goods and party products merchandised on the site, and through subscription services where brands actually use Enjoius as a marketing platform for their stuff.
The next step will be to use folks like Brown (who was also the former chief maker at Yahoo, which is now a part of Oath, which owns TechCrunch), to create content for not just the Enjoius site, but for YouTube and Instagram platforms as well.
Cunningham is a firm believer that this is the way that everyone will keep up with the Joneses, who are trying to keep up with everyone, who’re keeping up with them.
“Now more than ever, people want to make their social events special and memorable like the ones they see on Instagram and Pinterest yet with less stress and more fun,” Cunningham said in a statement. “However, they don’t know how to create them. Enjoius solves this problem and provides an all-inclusive modern guide to planning any event all in one place.”
The company’s first product is its electronically delivered party plans — pre-arranged guides that include sample photos, lists of decorations and partyware, menu planning and game ideas, and setup instructions and tips and tricks from experts.
For investor Nancy Tellem, the branding element is crucial for companies that need to compete in an Amazon-dominated world. “Enjoius’s innovative, data-driven model is the future of lifestyle marketing,” she said in a statement.