Punchbowl acquires Socializr

The acquisition spells out good times for all

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
November 12, 2010
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Punchbowl, an all-in-one party-planning solution, announced Friday morning that it has acquired Socializr, formerly Evite 2.0.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but many are privy to the hard times that Socializr has fallen on recently, which forced them to lay off all of its staff last year. 

Founded in 2006 by Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams, Socializr was originally known as Evite and raised $2.25 million over two rounds between 2006 and 2007, but mounting pressure from Facebook’s events feature was the likely culprit for Evite’s downfall.  Although…I do remember getting Evites when it first started up and feeling like they were totally unnecessary.

As of the summer of 2009, Socializr saw some 90,000 unique monthly visitors, and shortly thereafter it was forced to lay off its staff.  “We are definitely not shutting down our site, or our operations, or the company,” Jonathan Abrams told reporters, “but Socializr has taken cost reduction steps to adjust both to the economic conditions and the time required to grow an event invitation service…”

Punchbowl, by comparison, has over one million registered users and offers a seamless event planning service, complete with a wide range of different digital invitation templates and event categories, as well as a tracking feature that allows users to see not only who has RSVP’d, but how many children, infants, and extra guests will be in attendance (in case invited guests bring friends).  The coolest feature, I think, is the potluck organizer, which almost works like a wedding registry.  The host can list how many appetizers, sides, desserts, main courses, and beverages are needed and guests can choose which slot to take.

Users can also tweak the invitation to include a map for those who RSVP, automatic reminders, a message board, gift ideas, travel options, and even requests for contributions via PayPal or credit card (if you want to go the tacky route…although I can imagine that that would come in handy if you’re throwing a fundraising event for charity).

The site even lets users set up an after-party message board where guests can leave comments, ratings, and recommendations.

Founded in 2007 by CEO Matt Douglas and Sean Conta as, the Framingham, Mass.-based startup raised $2.1 million in October 2007 from Contour Venture Partners, Intel Capital, The eCoast Angel Network, and Dharmesh Shah.  The company previously raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Intel Capital and The eCoast Angel Network. 

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Description: Punchbowl is a technology company that builds products for the celebrations market. We create best-in-class online invitations and digita...
Bio: Matt Douglas is an entrepreneur, investor and startup advisor with 20+ years of experience in product management, marketing and...

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