Sister-in-law founding team raises $1.6M to digitize transactions for weddings and events – GeekWire

Sister-in-law founding team raises $1.6M to digitize transactions for weddings and events – GeekWire

Sister-in-law founding team raises $1.6M to digitize transactions for weddings and events – GeekWire

Rock Paper Coin co-founders Elizabeth Sheils (left) and Nora Sheils.The two are sisters-in-law. (Rock Paper Coin Photo)

New funding: Rock Paper Coin, a Portland, Ore.-based startup that sells software to help put on weddings and other events, raised $1.6 million in a round led by XYZ Venture Capital. Cascade Seed Fund, Ascend.VC, Ashe Partners, Momentum Investments, and Jake Silverstein of Stormlight Holdings also invested. Total funding to date for the 2-year-old company is $2.5 million.

The company: The B2B startup builds tools for wedding planners, vendors, and couples getting married. The idea is to automate the entire wedding process with technology that digitizes contracts, invoices, and payments. Rock Paper Coin supports three-way communication between the event planner, the couple and vendors such as photographers and caterers. The platform also works as a “wedding binder” with budgeting and other tools for couples managing their own event.

Pandemic effect: With social distancing mandates in place for the past year, thousands of weddings were postponed as the market reached record-low numbers. Still, the company was able to process more than $1.8 million in transactions. And with weddings expected to come back to normal industry levels by 2022, investors are betting that Rock Paper Coin will continue to grow. The company employs 10 people and has nearly 1,000 businesses who use its software.

Founder story: Rock Paper Coin co-founders Elizabeth Sheils and Nora Sheils are sisters-in-law. They were working for Bridal Bliss, a successful wedding and event planning business that Nora started in 2002. But the two were frustrated by the lack of digital tools available for tracking contracts and payments.

Quotable: “This pandemic taught us all quite a bit, but it also made it clear that technology and keeping up with the digital demands of today’s clients is essential,” Elizabeth Sheils said. “So even though weddings were at a standstill as a result of pandemic mandates, our transactions lagged, but our new user sign-ups skyrocketed. Now, freshly out of beta and with the industry actively rebounding, we expect to gain significant market share in the coming year.”

Growth potential: The company estimates the U.S. wedding industry at $74 billion, but Elizabeth said Rock Paper Coin’s opportunity is much larger as the startup could serve non-wedding events. She noted that a wedding photographer might also do senior portraits, family pictures, etc. — and use Rock Paper Coin for those transactions, too.

Go deeper: Rock Paper Coin vows to make wedding planning easier with its payment and contract platform

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