So, you’re getting married. Congratulations! It’s a joyous occasion for you, your friends and your family. But how do you plan to document your special day?
In addition to the professional photographer you’ll likely hire, many of your guests will probably take photos and videos on their phones. Naturally, you’ll want copies for your wedding album, right?
Collecting those photos through text or email would require a lot of uploading and downloading of attachments that are unwieldy and time-consuming for everyone. Luckily, WedPics offers a more streamlined solution.
By taking a pause after five years in business, WedPics positioned its team to move aggressively toward innovation and revenue.
WedPics CEO Justin Miller was in quite a predicament last fall—the startup needed a path to profitability and he needed some new motivation to make it happen.
The dilemma might not make sense considering the facts. Four years of hustle had made WedPics a darling of the Triangle tech community, and a company to watch in the lucrative wedding industry, with acquisition offers and impressive partnerships.
Miller’s small team had mastered user acquisition and content marketing on the cheap—with hundreds of thousands of brides all over the world using the app each year to capture and collect moments from their big day.
WedPics has experienced tremendous growth in recent months. When the company launched over two years ago, the company had about 60,000 users in its first quarter. Today, that number stands at about 5 million.
WedPics has revolutionized the market for wedding photos. “It takes the old idea of the disposable camera… and brings that to the now,” said Justin Miller, CEO and co-founder of WedPics. “Whether it’s the grandparents, or mom and dad, or the best friends everybody’s unique photos and videos all stream into this one place together.”
Right now, the company’s primary objective is user acquisition. “WedPics is totally free, and usually the next question people usually ask is, ‘Well how do you make money?’ And as a tech startup in the social space, our goal right now is not to make money, but our goal is to capture a large audience,” said Miller.
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WedPics has acquired more than four million registered users and currently serves over 10,000 weddings a weekend. And the company’s founders did it all despite overwhelming odds that said three single men couldn’t build a successful mobile app company in Raleigh, NC in the over-saturated market for photo apps.
After the flop of their original idea for another generic photo application, the founders pivoted to focus only on the niche market for weddings. And the idea took off. Today, WedPics employs 29 people and has raised over $7.5 million from investors. In his praise of the company, Chris Heivl
he WedPics’ simplistic user interface and strong understanding of its customer base are two important factors that have contributed heavily to the startup’s success.
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Investments in WedPics recently totaled $12 million, coming months after “Shark Tank” investor Barbara Corcoran participated in a $5 million round. The most recent round amounted to roughly $8.5 million. While existing backers participated in the most recent funding, the round also brought new investors such as David Gardner, Ben Boyer, and Mosley Ventures.
The cash has fueled significant growth in the company, which began in co-founder and CEO Justin Miller’s basement in Raleigh, NC. To date, more than 830,000 couples have used the site to document their weddings.
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The developers at WedPics have released a new mobile and web-based application called “Photo,” a social media platform that aims to extend the user’s WedPics experience beyond the wedding day. The app will help couples and individuals document important life events such as a family reunion, a baby shower, or a special vacation.
CEO Justin Miller reports that the inspiration for Photo came from WedPic users themselves, many of whom wanted a WedPics-like app for other occasions. While Photo retains many of the same features as WedPics, it will operate independently and focus more on the user. Miller is confident in his team’s ability to bring the app to market successfully and sees user transition from WedPics to Photo as natural.
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WedPics co-founder and CEO, Justin Miller, recently announced the development of a new photo app – aptly named Photo – that is set to launch in September. “With the new app, what we ultimately want to do is continue the relationship with brides and move through the next big life experiences with them,” says Miller. The new app will allow users to aggregate and share photos with friends and family related to events outside of weddings, such as concerts, birthday parties, trips, and more.
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Before WedPics, there was Deja Mi — a photo-sharing app that had a difficult time standing out amongst other competitors. It was through Deja Mi that CEO Justin Miller and his team discovered a niche market – the wedding industry – so they switched their focus with WedPics. In order to launch, WedPics needed a marketing message. They decided to create a video that showed how WedPics works. But in order to make the video, WedPics needed a wedding. Justin decided to throw his best friend a fake wedding to create a fun and memorable video. Now, three years later, over 500,000 couples have registered with WedPics to capture their own special event.
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WedPics announces the second close of its oversubscribed Series B financing. The second close raised $2.25M, bringing the total Series B financing to $6.5M, a combination of equity and debt. New investors participating in the round include Middleland Capital, WTI and an AngelList syndicate led by Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran – backers include Brad Feld, Dave Morin and others. WedPics continue to rapidly add new users. The company is currentlysigning up at least 1,000 brides per day, with a goal of 800,000 by the end of the year.
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TBJ Staff Writer Lauren Ohnesorge posed a question to the Triangle’s entrepreneurship community: “What Triangle startups should we be watching in 2015?”
Read the responses and full article from Triangle Business Journal