Fêtefully, the revolutionary digital wedding planning platform, closed a seed round of funding worth $1.3 million. This will allow the company to continue business growth and scale in the marketplace. The round was led by Slauson & Co., with participation from Gurtin Ventures, John Kim, Jeff Dodd, Rob Houdek, Chris Yeh, and Techstars with $100k non-dilutive capital from Google Black Founders Fund. Founder GiGi McDowell is one of 98 Black female founders to raise over $1 Million in venture funding.
With over 17 years of experience in the event industry, GiGi McDowell is the heart of Fêtefully. The on-demand, one-on-one, virtual wedding planning platform connects couples with professional planners who help bring their vision to life. Couples collaborate virtually with a professional planner to determine wedding style and design, budget building, financial planning, and more. Fêtefully combines the expertise of planners with technology that manages planning tasks and responsibilities, coordinates meetings, and tracks guest information. In addition, it facilitates and consolidates vendor communication, payments and decisions in real-time. Fêtefully’s complimentary concierge assists couples with vendor research, travel arrangements, event rentals and shopping, sourcing, ordering, and tracking all purchases.
A dream come true
At the age of five, GiGi, unbeknownst to her mother, ordered a copy of Bride’s magazine with her credit card. From a young age, GiGi was transfixed with the details and images on the glossy pages of the wedding bible. She knew she wanted to be a wedding planner and planned her first wedding when she was 13 years old.
“Fêtefully is the result of my lifelong dream. As a Black female founder, it’s important to me that with this round of funding we’ll be able to expand into new markets and grow our planning community which will allow us to capitalize on the momentum experienced during COVID,” said GiGi McDowell, Founder. “We’re excited to have the support and leadership from our investors who believe in our vision to revolutionize technology to better serve the wedding/events industry and our strategic partners who add intangible value to our leadership team as we continue to build and scale Fêtefully.”
Through hard work, dedication and vision McDowell was able to work alongside her mentors, Angela Proffitt, Brigette Romanek, and Estee Stanley, some of the most respected names in the wedding planning industry. GiGi founded her own events company and learned how to navigate the many facets of business as a solo entrepreneur, the most notable including streamlining processes that meet couples where they are in every chapter of their life. “I’ve known GiGi since 2017, and I have never met a first-time founder with more intuition on how to make money,” said Aubrie Pagano, Fêtefully Advisory Board member and General Partner, Alpaca VC. “She was doing millions in revenue on a Google spreadsheet before ever getting a term sheet.”
A potential wedding planning disruptor
“GiGi has all the qualities we look for in a successful entrepreneur,” said Grant Gurtin, General Partner, Gurtin Ventures. Founder & CEO. “Her combination of vision, determination and deep insight make her the perfect candidate to disrupt the traditional wedding/event planning space.”
With the projected growth of 2.1 percent this year and 62 percent since the pandemic started, the wedding industry is ripe for technology disruption. As a former wedding planner, GiGi knows the business landscape, what couples look for and how to anticipate their needs. “GiGi’s lived experience is her competitive advantage. She built a platform that even grew during the pandemic,” says Austin Clements and Ajay Relan of Slauson & Co. “As the world recovers, we expect to see more couples experience a streamlined planning process using Fêtefully.”
For more information about Fêtefully, please visit www.fetefully.com.
GiGi McDowell saw a need to make professional wedding planning accessible to everyone. A personal and efficient way to make it easier for people to celebrate their love in a way that reflects their personal love story and style. The Fêtefully Experience was crafted on the belief that everyone can experience celebrations that honor their relationships or personal milestones and give them time, comfort, and peace to enjoy the moments that matter. The virtual experience mirrors the traditional planning experience. It utilizes planners and technology to manage every aspect of the planning process without compromising quality, expertise, or personal connections.