Wedding-planning startup Zola just tied the knot: $100 million funding from Comcast Ventures, NBCUniversal, and Goldman Sachs Investment Partners
Zola, the wedding-planning startup, is about to join the unicorn startup club. Today, Zola announced it has raised $100 million in Series D financing to help reinvent wedding planning and registry for millennials. The funding round was led by existing investor Comcast Ventures, as well as adding new investors NBCUniversal and Goldman Sachs Investment Partners. The deal values Zola at about $600 million, according to people familiar with the deal. Zola is now the fastest growing wedding company in the country. The total investment now stands at over $140 million, which positions Zola to continue to invest in its products and accelerate its momentum as a digital leader in the $100 billion U.S. wedding industry.
This funding comes at a time of explosive growth and rapid expansion for Zola. Over the past year, Zola has doubled its employee headcount, added over 300 brands to its online store of registry gifts, and expanded its product offering to reach couples at every stage of their wedding planning journey. In April 2017, Zola launched a free suite of wedding planning tools including beautiful wedding websites, a customizable checklist and a guest-list manager, all designed to make wedding planning easier and more integrated for couples and their guests.
“Our vision at Zola is to make it as easy as possible for couples to plan their big day and enjoy newlywed life. We started by reinventing wedding registries, and now we are redefining wedding planning by combining innovative design, technology, and world class customer service,” said Shan-Lyn Ma, CEO and Co-Founder of Zola. “Our next generation e-commerce model has given us the opportunity to serve couples during the most memorable years of their lives. We are now the go-to wedding company for millennials, and we are assembling the best possible team to create products that meet the needs of every couple.”
Zola will leverage this funding to invest further in cross-device product development and its proprietary platform technology. The company will continue to innovate on existing wedding planning and registry tools in order to serve couples from the day they get engaged through their newlywed life.
“There is no other wedding company today that captures the attention of engaged millennial couples like Zola does,” said Sam Landman, managing director of Comcast Ventures. “We’re impressed by the company’s fast growth, capital-efficient business model, and strong leadership team and are thrilled to be investing in Zola in a much bigger way.”
“NBCUniversal is excited to co-invest with Comcast Ventures to provide Zola with both financial and strategic support,” said Maggie Suniewick, President of NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises. “We are committed to working with Zola to find both promotional and commercial partnership opportunities across the NBCU portfolio that drive mutual value and accelerate growth.”
This round saw participation from existing investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Canvas Ventures, Thrive Capital, BBG Ventures and Female Founders Fund. Several new investors also joined this round of funding including Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, Balyasny Asset Management, Founders Circle, GingerBread Capital and Jerry Yang of AME Cloud Ventures.
“Zola has taken a novel approach to delivering a ’10 out of 10′ experience to their customers and suppliers in an industry ripe for innovation, making it exactly the kind of company that we look to partner with,” said Ian Friedman, Co-head of Goldman Sachs Investment Partners venture capital & growth equity team. “We are excited to help further its position as the leading force driving change in the $100 billion wedding industry.”