This article first appeared in Enterprise, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on December 31, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Petrina Goh started a bubble tea shop with her friends in 2011, when everyone seemed to be lining up to buy the stuff. But it was just not successful. Although she saw it as a money-making opportunity at the time, her heart was not in it.
Two years later, she founded Wedding.com.my with Kelvin Leow and Stacey Lee. This time, she was determined not to make the same mistake.
“The wedding industry is a RM7 billion industry and about 300,000 couples tie the knot every year,” says Goh. More importantly, it is a business all three feel very passionate about.
Wedding.com.my was the first social commerce platform for weddings in the country when it was launched. Its goal was to allow traditional wedding-related businesses to sell products online while transforming the way people plan weddings.
“People used to rely on referrals [to engage vendors and service providers]. Now, they can conduct research online. They can even send out a quotation request to get the right vendors,” says Lee.
What separates the platform from its competitors is its inspiration boards. This feature allows users to compile pictures, videos and contents of weddings they like and share it with friends and wedding planners.
“They can build beautiful inspiration boards on wedding dresses, hairstyles and make-up before going into the process of filtering out vendors to pick the right one. We follow the Pinterest way, whereas other platforms do not,” says Lee.
Their business model has been proven successful. Nuren Group, the company behind Wedding.com.my, received a US$2 million Series A funding from early-stage venture capital firm Gobi Partners.
In 2016, the company launched Motherhood.com, which serves as a marketplace for baby products. This year, it expanded into Singapore and Thailand.
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