Why We Invested
When we first sat down with Vishal Joshi to learn about Joy, he started telling us his origin story of moving to the U.S. to work as a software engineer and going on to find success at Microsoft (Azure and ASPNet), alongside Joy cofounder Michael Bach. At the time, Vishal and Michael never foresaw joining the wedding industry together with their cofounder Kaiwalya Kher, a computer scientist from Adobe.
Thanks to Michael’s sister, who was having a difficult time planning her wedding, Vishal and Michael thought there must be a better way than navigating a bunch of disparate apps and service providers. Michael and Vishal set out to help Michael’s sister and ended up building a business as they solved her planning problems, and Joy was born.
Launched in 2016 through Y Combinator, Joy is a software company conceived to help people celebrate life’s event, by combining beautiful design with intuitive technology to make planning the most memorable events of life a joyful process. The Joy platform provides users with personalized events websites with an accompanying mobile app, universal, all-in-one gift registry, intuitive planning tools, guest communications, online or printed Save the Dates and invitations, and loads of other features to be launched.
Joy listens intently to its existing user base’s feedback as a guide to determining its strategic product decisions. The Joy team has dedicated itself to delivering the world’s best and most intuitive event planning platform for its users, not only for weddings but for all of life’s celebratory occasions.
Joy just announced that it closed its $60 million Series B round, which was led by General Catalyst. Fernbrook (Fund II) is pleased to have invested in the round. Proceeds will be used to double its team and invest in product development to expand its existing product platform. Since inception, the company has raised over $100 million.
Wedding and event planning is time-consuming, complicated, and, typically, high pressure. Until now, most celebrants needed to use multiple apps, tools, and service providers. These fragmented wedding planning and registry-building apps, tools, and services were focused on profit maximization instead of providing an elegant and intuitive one-stop shop for consumers. These disparate tools create multiple pain points for the consumer, and they do not give the celebrants the flexibility that the Joy platform offers, which was built on listening to its customers feedback and suggestions.
Joy’s ability to understand consumer pain points and provide simple solutions is remarkable. The success is reflected in Joy’s explosive growth
Joy is founded on the mission of understanding these consumer pain points and providing simple and intuitive solutions for wedding and event planning. The team’s successful approach to building the platform is resonating and reflected in Joy’s explosive growth. As an example, a major pain point for wedding celebrants is populating the gift registry with all their desired selections. Joy’s gift registry offers a seamless solution to receive gifts, experiences, zero-fee cash funds and charitable contributions. Users can add items from anywhere online and track all of them on the Joy platform.
Joy has seen 3x YoY growth in couples registering and planning on the site, and 4x YoY growth in the number of wedding gifts processed through its platform and using its universal gift-registry. The Company’s smart tools massively improve wedding planning, and its flexible e-commerce platform has reinvented gift registry shopping. Joy’s creative and intuitive approach and significant growth are evidence that they are fulfilling an unmet need in the industry.
Why We Invested?
Since Fernbrook’s founding in 2017, we have sought to back exceptional founders who leverage gaps in the market to build category-defining businesses. We found in Joy an extremely talented management team that is laser-focused on leveraging its software talent to build software-based, and powerfully designed solutions that enable couples to plan their weddings in a smarter, streamlined way.
The growth that the Joy platform is generating combined with insights that users around the world are using the Joy platform for other major life events and celebrations are indicative that the Joy team can expand its addressable market in terms of types of events and geographically, with registered users in over 150 countries. We believe it has strong viral network effects as each event planned on the Joy platform brings more guests (and potential future planners) into the platform’s community.
One of the reasons we are so excited about investing in Joy is that the team has just begun monetizing the robust technology platform that it has built. It has several exciting new revenue streams that are in development. We are excited to participate in this exciting growth story with viral network effects.
One of ways that Fernbrook is participating in Joy’s growth story is making business development introductions to relevant consumer product companies who can have their products available on the Joy gift registry and marketplace. Joy is seeking to enter drop-ship arrangements with brands with results in a higher take-rate for Joy on the gross merchandise value of the products sold on the Joy platform.
“Over my career, I’ve had the privilege to work with world class brands and understood their desire to create global platforms of growth and commercially-exciting, content-rich destinations for the customers of today and tomorrow,” says Marigay McKee, co-founder of Fernbrook Capital, Aston Martin Board Member and former Harrods and Saks Fifth Avenue executive. “Today we celebrate the fusion of heritage and technical modernity with Joy, which has set out to disrupt the wedding and life milestone market, from showers, birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations of joy. Marrying the elegance and ease of the process with the technical horsepower of the Joy platform, this is a solution and edit for event planning everywhere.”
Fernbrook is a proud partner of the Joy team.
December 22, 2022
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