Kuala Lumpur-based digital firm Catcha Group has led a seed investment round into Asia-focused wedding marketplace Hitchbird that is aiming to deepen its foothold into a $200-billion regional wedding market.
Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.
Ken Tsurumaru, former Director and Co-Founder of Catcha Group, has also participated in the seed round.
The company will use the funding to expand, hire talent, ramp up marketing and also develop its product roadmap, a Catcha Group announcement stated.
Hitchbird connects wedding couples from around the world with destination venues and vendors in the Asia Pacific. The website lists over 5,000 wedding vendors in 24 categories covering 53 cities in the region.
Hitchbird is the second entrepreneurial outing for Hoi Cheung whose previous business SMART was acquired by iProperty back in 2012. iProperty was later sold to Rupert Murdoch’s REA Group in 2016 for $534 million.
“The market size of wedding spend is estimated at $200 billion in Asia. This is a great opportunity for us to tap into an industry that is experiencing double-digit growth rates,” said Patrick Grove, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Catcha Group.
“Not only are couples going online to plan their weddings but also vendors who are increasingly moving away from print to digital platforms,” Grove added.
Catcha will help the wedding marketplace by leveraging on its capital, extensive network and expertise of building disruptive internet companies.
In Asia alone, there are over 30 million weddings per year, and according to the Destination Wedding Planner’s Congress, the market spend for destination weddings in Asia is estimated to be around $20 billion per annum.
This figure is expected to grow with wedding couples from India and China leading the way in terms of money spent on overseas weddings.
Further, Asia is also a very popular choice for couples residing outside of Asia.
“We also see a lot of people from the UK, France, US, South Africa, Russia, who are looking to get married in exotic locations such as Bali, Phuket, Danang, Maldives, Bangkok. Hitchbird is basically the TripAdvisor for weddings”, said Cheung.
Hitchbird is the latest to join the list of 60 investments that Catcha holds including the feather in its cap, the Netflix’ Asian look-alike, iflix.
Catcha Group builds and invests in disruptive internet companies across emerging markets globally. It invests in online classifieds, new media and OTT, where it has taken five companies from startup to IPO and created over $2 billion worth of value.