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Tampa startup offers marketplace exclusive to the wedding industry

Margie Manning

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Photo credit: Wedzee

Serial entrepreneur Jennifer Burns has launched her second company focused on the $78 billion wedding industry.

The new company, Wedzee, is a one-stop platform offering new and used items for brides and weddings.

“Wedzee is a marketplace targeted exclusively to the wedding industry that provides a secure way to buy, sell and ship items nationwide. It serves as a landing zone for all things weddings and is comparable to an eBay meets Etsy for the wedding industry,” said Burns, who is Wedzee’s founder and CEO, during Tampa Bay Wave’s TechWomen Rising Pitch Night last month. Wedzee is one of 13 women-owned companies in the inaugural TechWomen Rising cohort.

Jennifer Burns

Burns previously founded and sold a wedding ecommerce site called Kadlee. That gave her insight into what brides need, she said.

“The problem is that millions of brides are collectively spending billions wedding shopping online, but they are browsing dozens of websites to cross everything off their list. There is no focused platform to securely both buy and sell these items,” Burns said.

She said the solution is Wedzee, which targets both the consumer-to-consumer market and the business-to-consumer market.

“I want to pull the countless bridal boutiques, wedding ecommerce sellers and the millions of handcrafted items onto my platform. Wedzee consolidates these options into one very easy to use one-stop shop platform offering new and used items to meet every bride’s budget,” she said.

Burns said Wedzee would complement, not compete with big players in the wedding space, such as The Knot, Wedding Wire and Zola.

There are 2.5 million weddings each year in the United States alone, and the average bride spends 19 percent of her wedding budget on items, creating a total addressable market of $15 billion, Burns said.

“Wedzee is very well-positioned to capture a large portion of this mass market because we only have indirect competition. Our competitors either lack industry focus or functionality,” she said. “Brides are spending money every single day. These are lifetime moments people will spend money on. It’s not an issue of if the market is there. It’s a matter of who is doing it right, offering all of the functionality that’s needed.”

Both shoppers and sellers sign up for free, and Wedzee takes a 12 percent commission fee from each transaction total on the site. In the future, the company will charge for featured listings, creating another revenue stream.

Wedzee is in pre-beta launch with a full public launch scheduled for early next year. The company has not done any paid marketing but already has more than 1,100 users who have signed up and more than 10,000 unique visits to the website.

In addition to CEO Jennifer Burns, the founding team includes Mike Burns, who is senior vice president, and Rob Krzyspiak, chief technology officer. The three-member advisory board includes Bob Zweig, chief information officer of the Arizona Diamondbacks and former director of information technology at eBay; Andrew McIntyre, senior vice president of technology and innovation at Vinik Sports Group; and Dr. Matthew Barrett, a technology advisor.

Wedzee is a member of Embarc Collective, a downtown Tampa entrepreneurial hub, and Jennifer Burns was a featured founder on the Embarc website.

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