When the pandemic hit final yr, Punchbowl, an internet celebration planning service, was left within the lurch with gatherings all however shut down. However as a substitute of lamenting the state of affairs, founder and CEO Matt Douglas went to work to rethink the corporate’s method. He began by increasing the corporate’s on-line greeting card enterprise, which till that time had been a small a part of the income combine. Then he started speaking to traders a few money inflow, with an eye fixed towards including video to the platform.

That each one culminated in a slew of bulletins as we speak. For starters, the corporate pulled in $5 million from SG Credit score Companions. Douglas then circled and purchased on-line video manufacturing service VidHug and rebranded it for his platform as Memento. Lastly, he invested in a few apps designed to attract new dad and mom to the service early of their kids’s lives. Extra on these shortly.

When the federal government made the no-gatherings rule official, Punchbowl wanted a plan. “So we took our staff and we put our power in the direction of a product that was lower than 10% of our enterprise previous to the pandemic, and that’s greeting playing cards,” Douglas stated.

He made the greeting playing cards extra personalised by including a video part. His staff acquired that going fairly quick, placing it collectively by Mom’s Day 2020 to incorporate a visible message at a time when folks couldn’t get collectively in individual. However he needed one thing greater than that, and he dove into researching the video montage market. That in the end led to him connecting with the founders of VidHug and making a suggestion to purchase the Canadian startup.

Memento helps you make and gather video clips, pull them collectively right into a video and select music and backgrounds in a pleasant interface, placing fundamental video manufacturing inside attain of nearly any consumer.

Enter new markets and embrace a distributed workforce to develop throughout a pandemic

Douglas sees including video as greater than a shopper play although. He believes with Memento, he may also appeal to enterprise clients to make use of video — for instance, as a technique to welcome new staff, particularly in distributed organizations, or to make a goodbye video for a long-time worker leaving the corporate, and on this means start to develop the platform to incorporate not solely shopper clients, however companies too.

Whereas he was at it, he invested in some apps directed at new dad and mom, notably mothers, together with Qeepsake and pumpspotting. Qeepsake is an app that prompts dad and mom with a textual content to gather totally different reminiscences of their kids’s lives after which print them in a souvenir e book. It’s geared toward dad and mom who by no means acquired round to creating that child e book. Pumpspotting helps assist breastfeeding mothers, whether or not they’re at house or work, and it additionally supplies assets for his or her employers to assist nursing mothers as properly.

He believes that by attracting dad and mom on the earliest time of their kids’s lives, he can get them to make use of different Punchbowl providers to plan birthday events and different occasions, add video reminiscences and construct long-term model loyalty alongside the way in which.

Douglas has been at this since 2007 when he conceived and launched Punchbowl, and whereas he says he has had presents through the years to be acquired, he by no means needed to promote. Though 2020 may need been the hardest yr ever for his celebration planning enterprise, he used the disaster to rethink it, and within the course of could have constructed one thing that may survive and thrive long run with a greater variety of providers and income streams.

Get together Metropolis invests $4 million in Punchbowl, which now powers its digital invitations platform