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The wedding industry is estimated to be worth some $100 billion in the U.S. alone, and now one of the fastest-growing companies in that space — the wedding planning site Zola — is making a move to augment its position with a sidestep into travel. Today at Disrupt (our conference in San Francisco), the company is announcing Honeymoons, which will let couples plan, book and raise money for their post-nuptial travels at the same time that they plan the main event.
The beta invite is open for those interested from today. To start off, couples will be able to plan itineraries and book accommodations, with flights getting added in after the launch as part of a bigger effort to own the end-to-end marriage experience.
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“Over time, we want to book all your travel needs, both before and after the wedding,” said Shan-Lyn Ma, the company’s CEO and founder.
Zola’s business today is based around pre-wedding organization: users can set up free websites, design and print (paid) wedding invitations, and create Zola-based gift registries for family and friends to buy goods for the couple through the site — a business that has been successful enough to net the company more than $140 million in funding and a $650 million valuation.
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The Honeymoons feature also brings something else to Zola: a little breathing space. The online market for wedding planning is old and massive — it’s one of the first kinds of e-commerce sites that emerged with the rise of the world wide web itself, and as such there are a lot of large and incumbent competitors. However, “honeymoons” has been generally a more fragmented space, where people plan their own trips themselves via sites that cater to other kinds of travel like vacations, making “online honeymoon planning” far less of an industry per se, and...
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