Chevy Chase-Based WeddingWire Receives $ 350 Million Investment
Tech company now has a new majority owner
WeddingWire CEO and founder Timothy Chi inside the company's offices in Chevy Chase
WeddingWire, a local tech company that started in the dining room of founder Timothy Chi’s Chevy Chase home, just landed a $350 million investment to expand the business.
The global private equity firm Permira announced the investment Tuesday and will become WeddingWire’s new majority owner. The tech company connects engaged couples online with wedding professionals such as caterers and photographers.
WeddingWire operates in 15 countries in North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe and employees more than 950 employees in eight offices. In 2016, the company hired 200 additional employees after it acquired a Spanish wedding company and expanded to India.
“Eleven years ago, we started WeddingWire to more effectively connect engaged couples to event professionals as they plan their perfect wedding day,” Chi, the company’s CEO, said in a statement Tuesday. “With Permira’s proven track record in scaling global companies and backing consumer-technology businesses, they are the ideal partner to support our strategic growth strategies.”
Dipan Patel, a Permira partner, said in a statement the equity firm will use its international platform to grow WeddingWire’s international business. He said the wedding company had “substantial room to grow.”
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018 following a formal regulatory review.
There was no indication in Tuesday’s statement that WeddingWire planned to move its Chevy Chase headquarters. The company has offices in a building across the street from the Friendship Heights Metro station.
Chi said in a 2016 interview with Bethesda Beat that the area has a high level of talent and that the county and state support his company’s growth. Chi described himself at the time as a “champion” of the Bethesda area Red Line corridor and said “this area has been a great area to grow a tech company.”
Chi founded the company in 2007. He is also among the founders of the educational tech company BlackBoard that got its start in Washington, D.C., in the late 1990s.