We are pleased to announce that Foundry Venture Capital 2016, L.P. has completed its initial investment in Borrowed & Blue, Inc. With offices in Charlottesville, Virginia and Boulder, Colorado, Borrowed & Blue is a wedding vendor marketplace that helps couples research and book their wedding vendors.
Every year, 2.2 million couples get married in the United States. The average couple spends $24,000 on day-of wedding vendors, across many transactions, making weddings a $53 billion industry annually. Yet the market remains notoriously inefficient, and a handful of players, led by The Knot (NYSE: XOXO) have dominated the wedding landscape for many years with pay-to-play vendor listing directories. Other wedding sites and services have focused less on helping couples discover vendors, and more on tangential benefits, such as sharing wedding photos, organizing guest lists and seating charts, or creating wedding websites.
Enter Borrowed & Blue, whose tagline is the ‘Smarter Way to Wed’. B&B is taking a content and data-centric approach to serving the wedding industry. B&B is focused on helping couples discover vendors through their work. Every photo on the platform is tagged with the relevant vendors whose work is featured, and links to more detailed information about that vendor. To build up this repository of content, the company publishes more weddings than anyone else online, adding 350+ new weddings a week to its platform. The company has doubled its audience in just the last four months, and already has 18,000 vendors actively engaged on the platform. Borrowed & Blue has also recently launched an iOS app available in Apple’s App Store.
On top of this foundation of content, Borrowed & Blue is building the first transactional marketplace for the wedding industry, so couples will be able to book their venue, photographer, planner, etc. on the platform. Borrowed & Blue’s goal is to provide vendors with a true pay-for-performance model, while offering couples a one-stop shop to both discover and book all their wedding vendors online. Our marketplace theme posits that technology can be the answer to galvanize the two communities of wedding vendors and planning couples, and create a highly attractive business. We were particularly attracted by the company’s product focus and data-driven model.
Borrowed & Blue was founded by husband and wife team Christin and Adam Healey in 2012 after they experienced the challenges of planning their own Charlottesville wedding. Adam Healey is an experienced entrepreneur whose last business, hotelicopter, was a hotel meta-search engine that launched with a massively viral April Fool’s Day prank in 2009. Adam successfully sold hotelicopter in 2011 to Roomkey, a company owned by the six largest hotel chains in the world.
Borrowed & Blue has 20 full-time employees and a network of over 50 freelancers that help support their content publishing operation. We were introduced to the company via Jason’s colleague Brad Bernthal, with whom Jason co-teaches entrepreneurship at CU Boulder. We’re excited to be working with Christin, Adam, and their team.