JoinMyWedding.com: Innovative startup Ushering a Cultural Change in the Expense Driven Indian Wedding Industry
We have a big buzz around the site and the idea itself, people are actually talking about this. We have gained over 50 users on our site in a few days that resulted in the posting of four live weddings on the platform. Our social media following is growing rapidly as well with over 1,000 followers.
Photo Credit : Orsi Parkanyi, JoinMyWedding's Co-Founder,
JoinMyWedding.com helps to-be-married couples to make their wedding day more special or even possible, and travelers to make their travels more special. Basically, couples register their weddings by filling out a form on its site (including details of the wedding, date, location, description, numbers of tickets for sale and price per ticket, etc.), at the end they set the wedding as "PUBLIC" or "PRIVATE" - public weddings appear on the website and visible to everyone, private weddings are accessible via a unique link. For public weddings, anyone can book a ticket who visits the site, for private weddings (crowd-funding) only those who the couple share the unique link with.
The startup was founded in 2015 by Orsi Parkanyi, Pallavi Savant & Marti Matecsa.
SUJATA SANGWAN INTERACTS WITH THE JOINMYWEDDING.COM’S TEAM AND SPOKE TO THEM
How did the idea came to start?
The idea of sharing weddings got us together really. Marti & Orsi met mid last year when Orsi was visiting family in Hungary. They met through a common friend, and somehow got talking about weddings - unique cultural weddings in particular - they had attended. Marti attended an Indian wedding before as a guest and she shared her idea to open up weddings. Orsi added the crowd-funding idea, and the pair decided to build a platform that would allow all this. Pallavi met Orsi at an entrepreneur function a few months later in Sydney, who fell in love with the idea. Pallavi later joined JoinMyWedding team as a Marketing expert and leader of the launch in India.
What are the special key features of your startup?
Special features are tackling two different forms of wedding financing on the one platform: inviting international guests who are keen to have a unique cultural experience and would be willing to pay for it, and asking family and friends to contribute to a couple's wedding costs prior to the wedding so have the money to spend on their wedding via crowd-funding.
How are you different from the existing ones?
We are the first global platform that helps to be married couples crowdfund their weddings- publicly or privately. It might sound unbelievable but there is no other website out there to our knowledge that allows you can book a ticket to attend an authentic, real wedding in person (as one off, unique experience) or that is specific to crowd-funding for weddings. Before we built the platform, we had done extensive research into the market and we were surprised to see that these ideas have not been explored yet. It was a big reason why we decided to build it.
How much amount of funding your startup raised till now?If not, then what's your future plans of fundraising?
We decided to bootstrap the platform ourselves and so far it has worked in our favor as we own all equity. Orsi coming with a background in startups and has access to a lot of mentors and investors who have helped and advised us so far which has been amazing. In the future we will be open to outside investment, but we have a solid business model making money from the start and therefore we are sustainable for the moment.
How do you monetising?
We take a cut of every transaction that happens on our site.
What are the challenges your startup faced while setting up the business?
It is always challenging to build a double-sided marketplace as we need to reach out to to-be-married couples and also to travelers seeking unique cultural experiences. We knew this from the start and been strategic about that. The biggest challenge that we didn't factor however was the fact that a couple getting married consists of two people. It is not enough to have one who thinks it is a great idea and is keen to register the wedding, we need both people to agree on this, which may involve doubling our efforts. We take each challenge as a great opportunity to learn and to connect with our customers.
What is the market size and market opportunity?
The Global Wedding industry is a $300 billion industry, and one of the most traditional ones that has not yet been disrupted by technology. We are attempting to do just that that we believe it is a fantastic opportunity. The concept of Shared Economy is gaining momentum and companies like Uber and Airbnb give us great hope that people are getting more and more open to share their goods and even their personal experiences.
What are the traction details of your venture?
We literally just launched a few days ago. We have a big buzz around the site and the idea itself, people are actually talking about this. We have gained over 50 users on our site in a few days that resulted in the posting of four live weddings on the platform. Our social media following is growing rapidly as well with over 1,000 followers.
What advice you want to give the new entrants in this space?
The Wedding space is ripe for disruption and we believe it has never been a better time to get in the game.
Any interesting quote about your venture?
Yes, we have! Orsi, who speaks Hungarian, recently gave a radio interview on one of the major national Hungarian radio stations and a woman who loved the idea shared a funny story with the audience during the show. She told a story saying: "well, this already happened 30 years ago in my little town: it happened that we had two separate weddings on the same day, and some guests came from outside town. They approached us and we directed them to the wedding we were invited to. Many hours later they realised there were at the wrong wedding! By that time, they enjoyed themselves so much that they ended up staying"
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