FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Diego Based Wed-Tech Startup Aisle Planner Closes First Round of Funding with Lighter Capital
SAN DIEGO (January 25, 2017) – Aisle Planner, the powerful event and wedding management platform, today announced it has closed its first round of funding with Seattle-based Lighter Capital. The deal comes as Aisle Planner ended 2016 on a high note, seeing an impressive 300% growth in both revenue and users, fueled in large part by the recent globalization of the platform and the expansion of its core services to include a variety of business management tools. The funding from Lighter Capital will be used to expand the Aisle Planner team, accelerate development and to drive sales and marketing.
“We’ve built a sound and sustainable business that brings tremendous value to our customers and the clients they service,” says Christina Farrow, Co-Founder and President of Aisle Planner. “We’ve been deliberate in what we’ve set out to build – an all encompassing suite of tools that empowers the thousands of small to medium sized businesses that make up the bulk of the wedding and events industry to work smarter, not harder, all in one seamless and integrated platform,” says Farrow.
Rob Farrow, Co-Founder and CEO of Aisle Planner added, “Because we are a young company with a rapidly growing revenue base, we were drawn to Lighter Capital’s revenue based financing model over the traditional debt or equity financing options. It allows us to get access to capital we need without giving up equity in our company at such a critical stage of our growth. We were able to structure a deal that supports our long-term growth strategy, as well as the best interests of our shareholders, employees and most importantly, our customers.”
Prior to starting Aisle Planner, Christina owned a Hawaii-based luxury wedding planning firm for 17 years. After the acquisition of her company, Farrow set her sights on developing technology solutions to evolve the wedding industry. Aisle Planner is unique as the company’s founders, as well as the majority of the executive team are former wedding and event planners, and have made it a point to not only involve the industry in the design of its products, but advocate for the wedding professionals in everything they do. In the crowded wed-tech startup space, this differentiator for the brand has helped build an extremely loyal following.
With insider knowledge and a first hand understanding of the challenges wedding professional face, Farrow and her team have established Aisle Planner as one of the most respected and recognizable brands in the $330 billion global wedding industry in an incredibly short period of time – quite a feat for a small, female-led technology company based outside of the “valley.”
“We love a good entrepreneur hero story and we were very excited to have the opportunity to work with Aisle Planner. The best startups in our portfolio develop a deep understanding of their customer, build a fantastic product, are very capital efficient and prudent with their financials, and have a great attitude. Aisle Planner hit all of these marks with flying colors.” Said Jacob Colker, CMO of Lighter Capital.
Lighter Capital represents a new wave of investors offering companies an alternative to the standard venture backed deals using Revenue Based Financing (RBF). Instead of giving up shares of equity, Aisle Planner “sold” a share of future revenues to Lighter Capital. It’s hardly an untested funding tool — practically every Hollywood film for several decades has been financed by some variation on the RBF model — but firms like Lighter are looking to bring the option to a growing number of tech startups for who are looking for alternative funding to grow their businesses.
Colker continued saying “We truly love supporting tech startups in emerging hubs like San Diego. There’s a lot of wonderful growth and innovation happening in the United States and San Francisco often gets all the credit. The reality is that it’s often better to build a tech startup in a city that doesn’t have the exorbitant costs of living in the Bay Area. Aisle Planner’s decision to stay in Southern California and keep building the company there is another reason we wanted to support them.”
Aisle Planner’s performance in the last three years and Lighter’s deal structure were a perfect fit. “We knew we were hitting a point of inflection in our business where we needed an injection of capital to sustain the acceleration in our growth but did not want to give up a huge chunk of equity to get it. Lighter Capital offered us a great opportunity to continue to grow our business, build on our success and create more value in our company, for our team and our customers,” said Rob Farrow “We are looking forward to working with the team at Lighter and building on this relationship over the long term.
About Aisle Planner
Aisle Planner is the leading cloud-based wedding planning solution designed by wedding professionals for wedding professionals. With a complete suite of business management and planning tools, inspiration resources, a publishing platform and extensive ecosystem to connect wedding professionals to consumers, Aisle Planner promotes and cultivates the businesses and business owners that fuel the wedding industry. With firsthand knowledge of the challenges that wedding professionals face, we designed AislePlanner.com to give then the power to manage their business, streamline the planning process, create memorable events and deliver an ideal client experience. For more information, visit www.aisleplanner.com.
About Lighter Capital
Lighter Capital is an online revenue-based lender focused on providing technology companies from $50,000 to up to $2 million in growth capital. The company’s proprietary technology streamlines the loan process for entrepreneurs so they can stay focused on running their business and get the funding they need in 2 to 4 weeks. Based in Seattle, Lighter Capital has funded more than 110 companies in 25 states across the United States. The company was recently added to the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.