WWD.com/globe-news/digital/paperless-post-eyes-bigger-fashion-footprint-7646677/
government-trade
government-trade

Paperless Post Eyes Bigger Fashion Footprint

The destination for online invitations plans to immerse itself even further within the fashion world.

A wedding invitation from Oscar de la Renta's latest Paperless Post collection.

Paperless Post, the destination for paperless online invitations that’s since expanded its offerings to include actual paper invitations as well, plans to immerse itself even further within the fashion world.

This story first appeared in the April 17, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The company said it received $25 million in Series C funding Wednesday led by August Capital and existing investors — a significant portion of which will go toward forging more fashion relationships. The five-year-old company, which has a user base of 45 million people who have sent more than 100 million custom invitations, has raised more than $37 million to date, according to chief executive officer and cofounder James Hirschfeld.

“As we take on new capital, and as it relates to this partnership program, [we’ll] continue to put our resources behind bringing brands that speak to our user base and bring them into the world of stationery,” Hirschfeld said, adding that moving into Europe and other regions and working with local partners is key going forward.

Kate Spade New York was the first fashion partner for the e-card company in September 2012, followed by the launch of a collaboration last year with Oscar de la Renta. (The most recent wedding stationery collection was introduced in tandem with the brand’s bridal show last week.) Paperless Post has also teamed up with stationery designers like Crane & Co. and Julia Rothman, as well as interior designers Kelly Wearstler and Jonathan Adler.

“Stationery is sort of an accessory — and when you think about what people send invites for, it’s a natural extension for the their brand,” Hirschfeld told WWD Wednesday.

When Paperless Post launched in 2009, the sole service available on the site was online invitations. Due to demand, printed invitations made their debut in October 2012. Prices for online invitations average at about 24 cents a card but can go up to 45 cents, and for printed invitations, flat print costs $2 a card and fine print, $6 (envelopes included).

“We built up a big audience [based] just on digital and realized that our user base actually loved paper — but [they] just didn’t use paper for every event. They kept asking us, ‘How can I print that?’” Hirschfeld said, adding customers would say, “‘I use Paperless Post five times a year, but for a wedding, I want a printed invite.’”