A closer look at the Mixbook acquisition of WedPics

Last week, Mixbook announced the acquisition of Raleigh, N.C.-based WedPics for an unspecified amount. WedPics had carved out a considerable niche in the wedding market, and Mixbook CEO Andrew Laffoon says the combination will be a good fit. A large segment of Mixbook users are brides, he says, and the addition of WedPics is a natural for that vertical. The acquisition is Mixbook’s fourth, following Scrapblog in 2011, and both Yobongo and Citrify in 2012.

“Brides are one of our biggest segments, but they are expensive to acquire,” says Laffoon, adding the app will continue under the “WedPics by Mixbook” brand, similarly to how the company markets its Montage and Mosaic product lines. “We understand how to acquire brides, but didn’t monetize them as well. WedPics runs the business differently, has almost 10 million users now and is growing substantially.”

WedPics had already begun integrating printed books into its business, so the timing seemed right to bring the two together, he adds. Up until then, WedPics had primarily focussed on ways for wedding parties and guests to gather and share photos. The management of the two companies have known each other for a few years, and the deal came together over a couple of months.

According to the Raleigh Business Journal, WedPics founder Justin Miller will stay on, but he is already looking at his next startup. The company raised more than $12 million in financing, including backing from “Shark Tank” personality Barbara Corcoran. In the article, investors expressed disappointment WedPics didn’t IPO, but Laffoon isn’t fazed.

As a scrappy startup in 2007, Laffoon says the Mixbook culture isn’t about spending frivolously. The company was bootstrapped, and its that mentality that has helped them survive the “nuclear winter” of traditional venture capital funding. Today’s VCs are likely to invest in social sharing apps and VR, not necessarily businesses that actually generate cash flow.

Ever the optimist, Laffoon is also seeing positive signs in the photo output market, as more and more mobile possibilities emerge.

“It’s taken awhile for the app guys to make a living, but it’s starting to work,” he says. “The companies we talk to are seeing significant growth. There are lots of small companies who are new and not getting noticed.”