Today we announce our Series B investment in HoneyBook, a San Francisco-based event planning platform developed to address the needs of the many event professionals who want to dramatically improve their business processes and grow their overall businesses. The core idea is to free event pros from cumbersome administrative tasks such as tracking communications and managing collections so that they can focus on the creative work they love.
The concept for HoneyBook came about in a Palo Alto coffee shop in 2013 as four friends (now co-founders) compared notes on the challenges and frustrations of planning their recent weddings. Driven by the need for innovation and frustrated at the event industry’s snail-paced adoption of technological change — with paper contracts, checks, and countless liaisons over email and telephone — the group knew there had to be a better way.
In his own words, HoneyBook co-founder and CEO Oz Alon said, “We saw a need for one simple platform that wedding and other event professionals could actually use to make a positive impact on the business. Our driving vision was to serve as a catalyst for a huge industry that has been relatively limited in terms of available technology. With that in mind, we can empower top event professionals to be more connected, productive and successful with their clients and fellow vendors.”
The HoneyBook founders are creating the first market-specific business management software for the professionals in the event planning business, including wedding and event planners, photographers, florists, DJs, etc. Among other functions, HoneyBook’s cloud-based platform allows these professionals to manage overall communications with clients, send tailored proposals, invoice clients, and collect and track receivables.
In addition, HoneyBook is building city based communities of event professionals based upon shared business relationships, with the ultimate goal of enabling a robust online marketplace among event professionals who often collaborate on specific clients. The company has a virbrant community already in the Bay Area and has recently launched similar communities in Los Angeles and New York.
Backed by this funding, HoneyBook will continue to invest heavily in product development and customer service, and will accelerate their city-by-city rollout of communities to major hubs in the US over the next 12 months.
We invested in HoneyBook because we have been highly impressed by what Oz and his team have accomplished in a very short period of time. They are visionary, energetic, and maniacally focused. They already have a rabid customer base that is getting great value from their platform. Moreover, they are chasing an enormous opportunity, as the transaction flow in the wedding space alone is over $50B in the US, while the transaction flow in the entire personal events space in the US reaches multiple hundreds of billions of dollars.
Some company is going to create a powerful online marketplace within the personal events space. Norwest is betting on Oz and his colleagues at HoneyBook — and we are excited to be part of the team.