Fête, an Atlanta-based mobile-based social planning and invitations startup, has been acquired by Evite. Fête’s technology will help power Evite’s new text-based invitation offering, through which 40,000 mobile invitations are being sent on a daily basis.
Though financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Fête co-founder Sanket Shah says the team was “very pleased with the deal.” They had raised about $300,000 in funding prior to the acquisition.
“Evite’s scale has made them a formidable competitor and a clear leader in the digital invitation space,” Shah said in a statement. “Fête is happy to have found a home at Evite, and we’re thrilled to be a part of their incredible legacy and continued success.”
Launched publicly in 2015, Fête aimed to bridge the gap between the often-messy business of planning a get-together — the texting, email, or social media messaging confusion — and actually getting everyone to the event. The app allowed users to send an invitation by SMS, facilitated conversation by the group to determine factors like where and when, and then accepted RSVPs.
“There is too much noise on other platforms. We want users to spend their social capital inviting friends to an event that will actually happen and we want you to use an app that looks and feels good,” explained co-founder Raj Parikh at the time of the public launch. The startup has since helped users plan over 100,000 events.
As part of the acquisition, Fête shut down its stand-alone app and users have been prompted to join Evite.
Shah shared that, while the problem of social planning is a big one that hasn’t been fully solved, it was a real challenge for a small, standalone startup to go up against larger, already established players.
“We felt that while we had built an original and innovative product that many users loved, we missed the mark on authentic demand for a media that replaces email, group messaging, and invitation services for planning events. We had long streaks of incredible week over week growth (more than 14 percent!), but found it unsustainable because we couldn’t retain enough usership,” says Shah.
Evite is one of those major players: one in four Americans receive at least one Evite invitation each year and the company has sent over two billion invitations.
“Ultimately we felt that Evite’s mission of “bringing people together” aligned with ours, that they had investigated and grappled with many of the same questions as us, and that they had the resources, scale, and brand power to leverage our learnings and technology to further our shared cause. We’ve joined forces with Evite to create the best digital invitation platform in the world,” says Shah.