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The Ticket Fairy, a Web Summit 2014 BETA startup, has the potential to disrupt event marketing for the better. Using the service, an event attendee can get cash back when their friends also purchase tickets. It’s referral marketing at its finest, and it’s already handled in excess of $3.2 million in ticket sales.
Recently, they’ve been accepted into Y Combinator, with an investment of $120,000, bringing The Ticket Fairy’s overall funding to $605,000. It’s fantastic to see one of our BETA startups doing so well, hopefully this year we’ll see similar levels of success from our Web Summit exhibitors.
I caught up with Ritesh Patel from The Ticket Fairy, to have a chat about their Web Summit experience and what’s next for the company.
Where did the idea for The Ticket Fairy come from?
We used to run events for over a decade ourselves and also worked in the startup and ad-tech industries.
We saw a huge need for smart technology to help a traditionally high-risk industry that was in the process of moving from outdated marketing methods such as print advertising and flyers.
Events have massive upfront costs, limited time and resources within which to make back those costs and difficulties/inefficiencies in reaching their target attendees.
What’s on the roadmap next?
We’re constantly building more of the platform, which we see as multiple products within one ecosystem, each designed to solve a particular problem that our customers are facing.
You could describe our approach as a combination of Salesforce and AWS for the events industry.
What was the highlight for your team at Web Summit?
It’s difficult to pick one. We’ve met some amazing people, including our first investor, Justin Kan from Twitch/Y Combinator, at a Web Summit office hours session.
Thinking purely indulgently though? The food! Totally exceeded our expectations.
How did you find office hours? Talk us through what happened.
The topic of the office hours session was ‘how to scale your company’ and, at the time, we were an unfunded, two-person company, starting to sign up events with more than 10,000 attendees with relative ease.
We were really struggling to keep up with supporting the consumers using our platform at that scale.
So, I explained the issue to Justin, told him that scaling our tech wasn’t a problem, and we were trying to raise money to solve our personnel scaling problems.
I went through the business model and the platform, he sounded interested and suggested we have lunch immediately after the office hours session to discuss a possible personal investment from him and it kind of just snowballed from there!
What’s your biggest challenge?
Breaking the pre-conception that people might have that we’re another generic ticketing platform – this is all about marketing, data, analytics and providing a platform that an events company can run their entire business on.
Congratulations to The Ticket Fairy for their successful round of funding, here’s to another great year!