How Partiful became the hottest invitation app for startup founders


Since The New York Times has known as it the “least cringe” invite platform of 2022, Partiful has taken off amongst younger tech employees — and now, e-commerce founders. 

Founded in 2020, Partiful describes itself as “Facebook events for hot folks,” and has a daring, graphic Gen Z-friendly aesthetic. First adopted by tech employees, it’s also been referred to as the Eventbrite for Generation Z.  

Partiful has turn out to be popular for hosting birthdays, happy hours and different personal events. Once customers have RSVP’d, they’re additionally in a place to see other people’s profiles and react to their attendance status utilizing emojis. In the past 12 months, Partiful has also quietly become the RSVP app du jour among CPG founders and startup staff, who like its simple features like attendee profiles and calendar reminders. According to a quantity of founders and retail industry of us, social distancing hindered industry gatherings — and Partiful creates a fast and seamless method to deliver people together once more. While the platform still lacks some key features, some individuals are considering eventually using it for official brand occasions and popups.

Currently, the invite instruments are open and free for anyone to use regardless of occasion size. 

Partiful did not reply to a request for perception on the platform’s future business model. But the company at present has job postings for product designers and cellular engineers, which could mean an app is coming soon. In November, Partiful also closed a $20 million Series A sequence led by Andreessen Horowitz. Even nonetheless, the startup’s snarky social media accounts have made it clear the founders are in no rush to make money from the platform.

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So for now, people in retail startup circles are profiting from Partiful’s tools to search out one another and community — albeit with extra of a “party” sense. 

Over the previous few months, Omsom co-founder Kim Pham has been internet hosting “quarterly bored meetings” utilizing Partiful. The sequence invites founders and adjoining retail trade people to casually mingle over drinks, at a private location that’s solely visible to attendees.

Networking is necessary for so much of CPG startup founders, who’re constantly in search of development alternatives similar to model collaborations and potential investments. “But for lots of us who launched our companies throughout Covid, we’ve felt extra alone,” Pham said. She added that in the course of the first 12 months of constructing Omsom, which launched in 2020, she and co-founder Vanessa Pham “were just about building it solo” with out a lot in-person help.

“It may seem silly, but lots of these events aren’t only for skilled networking,” Pham said. “They help create connections to other founders who might turn out to be close confidants, mentors or even associates.” 

That said, young founders like Pham aren’t speeding to attend stiff networking pleased hours. In February Pham and friend Azora Zoe Paknad, the founder of sustainable homeware model Goldune, organized a Partiful invite for the aforementioned quarterly bored meetings. 

Pham mentioned the benefit of setup and room for creativity are the 2 largest draws for startup individuals. The platform’s UX additionally permits for lots of character with a fairly low lift, she added. Since Partiful solely uses SMS for communication, there are no emails that doubtlessly find yourself in spam folders. 

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Other industry individuals like Partiful’s immediate reach, particularly when putting out a call for colleagues to meet up in cities like New York or San Francisco.

CPG consultant Nate Rosen, who’s presently engaged on launching a beverage brand, stated that Partiful’s mantra “feels very unapologetic” about making a fun and informal ambiance. 

The web site also helps fill a niche digital invite void.

“Since people stopped using Facebook, there hasn’t really been a great possibility to organize and host industry occasions,” Rosen stated. For the most part, Rosen and CPG startup colleagues have been organizing events using a mix of e mail, texts and calendar invites.

Once in-person occasions resumed, Rosen and some colleagues began organizing a month-to-month “CPG joyful hour” in New York City using Partiful. “We can easily throw up an invitation page on the final minute and ship it to a variety of individuals,” Rosen stated.

For recurring events just like the monthly pleased hours and Rosen’s newly-launched quarterly model panel event, Partiful’s archived occasions data also assist.

“It shows who went to what occasion, which is helpful because I don’t always keep in mind to invite everyone,” Rosen stated. Partiful has additionally confirmed helpful for organizing meetups at trade shows and conferences while traveling, he added.

In January, Rosen began utilizing Partiful to co-host a panel referred to as “the consumer council,” which has attracted executives from manufacturers like Belgian Boys and men’s skincare startup Huron. “We’ve already had founders of brands like Lunar seltzer and Myvino attend, so we’re going to try to do it as soon as a month,” Rosen mentioned.

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For now, Partiful is principally being used for inner gatherings and trade networking. 

However, CPG incubator The Naked Market is experimenting with Partiful for official branded events. The firm used the location to host a non-public DJ set with Joe Jonas for his model, Rob’s Backstage Popcorn, at Expo West earlier this month; The Naked Market has a joint venture with Rob’s Backstage Popcorn. 

Harrison Fugman, co-founder and CEO of The Naked Market, said the incubator launched at the end of 2019 proper before the pandemic and it wasn’t till the previous few months that they started doing bodily events.

“We wished the event to be jovial and celebratory, and turning the primary evening of the show into a dance celebration was the proper recipe for networking with the relaxation of the CPG community,” Fugman mentioned. The Naked Market got lots of feedback that Partiful’s reminder characteristic was helpful for Expo West attendees. “It was nice being able to push out real-time updates so everyone may make sure they have been there in the course of the DJ set,” Fugman said.

That stated, Partiful not being a full-fledged invitation platform poses limitations. For instance, attendees aren’t in a position to routinely obtain event invites to their calendar. 

“I will absolutely be considering using the platform for Omsom events,” Pham mentioned. But first, she’d like extra customization choices for the touchdown web page to be able to integrate a extra branded experience.

Similarly, Fugman mentioned that in relation to corporate events, Partiful “definitely has some shortcomings compared to rivals, however it did the trick.” 


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