BGF, an investor in small and mid-sized companies in the UK, has backed the online wedding company Prezola with a GBP3 million investment.
BGF’s funding will be used to develop mobile app technology, making it easier for couples to create and share their wedding plans and gift lists online and on the move.
Prezola is the UK’s largest independent wedding gift list company. Launched in 2012 by husband and wife team Dom and Ali Beaven, the business has already sold over 1 million wedding gifts to date.
The service allows couples to create wedding gift lists with more than 30,000 products supplied by over 300 retail partners and also incorporate a commission-free honeymoon fund if required. Guests can buy online or by phone and gifts are delivered free of charge directly to the couple.
BGF’s investment will be used to develop Prezola’s mobile technology and create an all-round user friendly wedding management platform, easily accessible by couples and their guests on mobile apps as well as online.
The company’s continued growth strategy will be supported by David Kelly who has been appointed as chairman. Kelly has a wealth of experience in scaling online businesses and is currently chairman of Love Home Swap and non-executive director of Holiday Extras, The Gym Group and On the Beach. He has previously been operations director of Amazon.com and COO of lastminute.com and eBay Europe.
The investment was led for BGF by Alex Garfitt, Daniel Tapson, Ned Dorbin and James Skade.
Last year Prezola acquired www.gettingmarried.co.uk, a wedding website platform which lets couples create personalised wedding websites with integrated guest management tools, quickly and easily. The Getting Married platform will also be launching an app-based version of the service later this year.
Prezola CEO Dom Beaven says: “Prezola’s expansion has been the result of great technology, great brand partnerships and beautifully curated product collections – making the process enjoyable and inspiring for couples and their guests. Bringing BGF on board gives us access to long-term investment capital and a wide-ranging network of business leaders and like-minded entrepreneurs. We are equally excited to welcome Dr Kelly, who brings years of experience scaling up online companies and their strategies, to our board.”
Alex Garfitt, BGF, adds: “BGF’s investment will support the growth of Prezola into a mobile-first, full-service wedding gift and guest management platform. We are excited for Dom and Ali, and their management team, as they continue to invest in mobile technology to further strengthen their position in the UK’s increasingly valuable wedding market.”
The advisers involved in the transaction were Ashfords (Rory Suggett) and Saffery Champness (Neil Davies) for BGF and VWV (Nathan Guest) for Prezola.