A wedding invitation births a business
On an ordinary early spring day, Li Bo and Ding Xindong worked together to produce an electronic wedding invitation for Ding’s upcoming marriage, without knowing that they had opened a door for their future business.
The electronic wedding invitation included the hobbies, nicknames and all the memorable romantic moments of the couple. To Ding and Li’s surprise, as soon as the smart invitation was posted on social media Wechat and Weibo, it got thumbs up from viewers.
In two hours, 50,000 people, many of whom inquired if Ding could make similar invitations for them, viewed the product.
“The large amount of viewers and positive response had encouraged us, so we decided to make it our new business,” said Li, co-founder and CEO of Bayinhe (means music box in English).
According to Li, they named their brand “music box” because they want people to have the same pleasant feeling as opening a music box when viewing the wedding invitation.
Li met Ding during a trip in the United States, and they quickly became close friends. When they returned to China, they started to look for opportunities of starting their own business as partners.
“We used to have many different ideas, such as launch an e-platform for booking breakfast for white-collars working in Beijing and Shanghai’s CBD areas, and to deliver them directly to office,” Ding said.
But the idea went nowhere because they failed to find a good chef partner.
After more than a year’s consideration, they decided to create a mobile phone platform for telling stories.
The platform that originated from an electronic wedding invitation is expanding rapidly.
“It could be a how-to-do guide for cooking a dish or producing an object, and it could also serve as a guideline for writing a love letter, finding a job ad, posting a piece of news, it could be anything,” Li said.
Since it was officially launched last August, “music box” has garnered more than 1 million viewers, with an average of 50,000 viewers per day.
More than 100 cases have been handled by the platform, and many of them have been well-received.
A three-bedroom apartment was leased only one day after its introduction created through “music box” was published, thanks to the eyecatching pictures and attractive descriptions.
Sun Vivi, a 28- year- old woman posted a notice looking for a football fan husband via “music box”, and in one day she immediately received more than 80 invitations on Wechat.
By fixing her marriage date on the last day of 2015, Sun’s advertisement kept counting down the remaining days, hours, minutes and seconds left for the marriage between two football fans.
Sun is now dating one of the friends she added through Wechat.
The Music Box’s success also won the favor and support from the capital market, as it already received 1.5 million yuan ($241,800) angel investment less than a month after its foundation, and the co-founders are looking for a new round of financing at the moment.
Li said finding new possibilities is the goal of the platform, and in the future, they will also invite freelance designers and programmers to build more special templates with additional side-functions.
“The ultimate goal of the Music Box is to become a platform of creating all kinds of stories by combining text, pictures, video and audio altogether,” Ding said.
(left) and Ding Xindong look to make their ‘music box’ a big business.