The wedding space in India is a multi billion dollar industry. Popular wedding portals Shaadi.com and BharatMatrimony started way back in 1997, this is when the Internet users consisted of under 0.1% of the total population. And now when the technology, Internet and smartphones have brought so many cultural changes in both rural and urban India, new startups are rising up to match the tastes and demands of the connected generation. Here are 5 such rising businesses trying to bring about a change.
Started in August 2015 by 3 alumni from IIT Kanpur – Sourabh Varma, Ajay Pandey, Harsh Vardhan, Mumbai-based Marrily is a matchmaking app that believes in “connecting, then committing”. It is a mobile only startup which uses Facebook for registration and requires a selfie for verification to ensure only real people sign up.
“When I was looking to get married, I found the entire process sort of painful and often awkward and frustrating. I’m sure many are facing that” said Sourabh, Founder at Marrily.
Marrily uses an algorithm to suggest matches and learns partner preferences with time. It connects mutually interested people over in-app chat for 30 days to discover mutual compatibility. Only when both are sure of taking it ahead, it further helps by notifying family members about the matches. It suggests profiles after carefully considering qualities important in match-finding. One can like or reject profiles without notifying the other person.
The app has built a base of 500 users. About 15% users visit the app everyday. The startup is reaching out to investors for raising the funds.
Marrily is competing with matrimonial sites like shaadi.com, and bharatmatrimony.com among others. The startup has planned a freemium model, i.e., free for certain functionalities and paid for upgrades.
Online matchmaking in India itself is about Rs.1,000 crore. The company believes that the true potential hasn’t been realized because of various issues and the industry is significantly under-monetized. So opportunity pie is multiple times that of current size.
The app is available for free on Android. The iOS app is under development and will be launched soon.
WeddingPlz is a wedding vendor search portal that helps people find every wedding product and service such as catering, flower decoration, wedding jewellery, music services, parlour services and so on, all in one place.
Started in January 2014 by Manas Wadhwa, the startup has launched in 3 more cities now, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Ludhiana and plan to launch in Bangalore by the end of this year. It lists more than 20,000 vendors specializing in wedding services with their detailed information and reviews. Besides vendor listing, some of the core features include wedding planning tools like wedding checklist, budget, guest list, e-invites and wedding website where in user can create and share his own personal website with out any cost.
From vendor details to planning tools, from wedding website to wedding blogs & events, WeddingPlz helps the to-be-wed couples and their family and friends to manage and organize everything for their special day. It lists more than 37,500 vendors across 41 categories.
In terms of product expansion the startup plan to launch Weddingplz mobile App by the end of this year and would be coming up with its own wedding directory of wedding vendors. It plans to launch in 12 more cities by the end of 2016.
At present, the company has over 3 lakh visits every month, have generated 35000+ leads till date and have 105 paying customers as part of its early revenue stage.
Gurgaon-based WedMeGood was founded by a husband – wife duo, Anand Shahani and Mehak Shahani, which assists the Indian couples who are planing their wedding, right from idea to execution stage. The startup features a curated guide of wedding professionals – photographers, makeup artists, decor, jewellery brands, designer wear and catering firms- all in one place, with detailed information, pricing and reviews.
Apart from this, it boasts of over 70,000 images uploaded by its vendors and users that provide inspiration for recently engaged couples. Around 200,000 unique visitors accessed the portal in the past month, contacting more than 3500 vendors listed across 18 categories related to Indian and International weddings.
This month, the company raised Rs.2.7 crores funding in the seed round which is led by Indian Angel Network (IAN) with participation from angels like Rishi Parti, Anupam Mittal, Sachin Bhatia and Kashyap Deorah. The funding will be used majorly to improve the product and scale-up business by increasing the vendors base across major metro cities. The firm is also in the process of launching both the iOS and Android mobile app in the coming couple of months.
In this space, the startup is competing with companies like Shaadisaga.com and Indear.in.
Started in January 2013 by Co-Founders Bhraman Rattan (CEO) and Suraj Dubey (COO), Marryinaweek is a matrimony portal which features every profile that is listed on the platform for a week in rotation every month. It allows each featured profile to become visible to all their potential matches and cause some of them to express interest.
Each interest generated expires in 7 days. Every featured profile which receive interests, must either accept or decline them before expiry. “This way we are able to connect both sides within a week. This is the most efficient match making process that is possible. On an average each featured profile receives about 50 interests every time we feature them,” said Bhraman,
The startup had raised Rs.1.5 crore of seed funding and is in talks to raise more funds to scale up the wedding marketplace app. It needs funds for marketing, to acquire tech, sales, marketing and content talent and to beef up its sales and vendor teams across top 10 metro cities.
Its app is available for Android users which was launched in April 2015 and has received 8000 organic downloads so far. The firm is soon going to launch its wedding marketplace app which will be one stop wedding resource for all the wedding related services like venue, caterers, bridal/ groom wear, make up artists, photographers, DJs, Invitation cards, Band baja, Wedding planners,Decor etc. It is targeting to bring 10,000 curated wedding vendors in next 6 months. The startup has recently acquired a wedding services marketplace app from Parikshalabs which will be rolled out soon under its new brand.
PlanningWale was founded in April 2015 by Latika Malhotra, Kanishk Pandey and Sameer. It is a wedding & event search directory with listing of over 6000 matrimonial vendors like jewellers, venues, caterers and bakers, photographers, bandwalas, florist, astrologers, designers, make-up artists, mehendiwalas, car rentals, invitation cards, decorations, choreographers, fitness, wedding planners and many more.
User can search, compare & book vendors from over 25 categories and can directly call via app, rate & review, bookmark for future reference, search “near-by” vendors and also locate the vendor on the go through maps. Its app is available for Android users.
“We plan to revolutionize the industry and we know that it won’t happen in one day so we’ve panned out a 5 year plan which we have broken further and are working on quarterly basis. Our plan for next quarter would be to go live Pan India with our services. We have already started the process of gathering Data and are working on the feedback from the Delhi based users,” said Latika.
The startup launched its app a few days back only and has close to 500 downloads. The iOS version of the app will launched in next 15 days. The company has also started reaching out the international markets where it plan to launch themselves by the end of the second quarter.