While there are many ticket platforms currently present in Brazil, none has reached the likes of something similar to Ticketmaster in the U.S. in terms of centralizing the market. Such platforms, however, are central to an event’s success – not only in facilitating ticket sales for increasingly-demanding consumers who expect services to be easily accessible only, but also in the simple act of spreading the word about what’s going on.
Social ticketing platform Ingresse has recognized this need and is looking to respond and become the industry leader in Brazil.
A Latin American version of Eventbrite with a social twist, Ingresse allows Brazilians to access and purchase tickets to concerts, plays and shows and find out who else among their friends and contacts plans to attend. Events on Ingresse are crowdsourced, meaning tickets are posted and sold by event organizers and performers themselves. This is an important benefit for those looking to increase their revenues but lacking the marketing budgets to do so.
Ingresse founders Gabriel Benarrós, Sebastien Robaszkiewicz and Marcelo Henrique launched the site at the beginning of this year. Their goal is to deliver relevant events to the right people by way of organically-generated smart tags offered to users through the platform’s recommendation system. The site combines the safety and convenience associated with electronic ticketing with unique social features.
While the team recognizes that Eventbrite is likely on its heels and will be headed to Brazil soon, they are sure that Ingresse’s social interaction features and areas of concentration – clubs, concerts and parties – will keep the more formal Eventbrite at bay.
Earlier this year, Ingresse was invited to join the 500 Startups’ 4th class to undergo a five-month acceleration program, which will conclude later this month with the program’s Demo Day on July 17th and 18th in Mountain View, California. The only Brazilian project selected for participation, the company grew quickly – so fast, in fact, that it has received committed support from a number of angel investors and is on the cusp of closing an unexpected Series A round funding of an estimated R$2.5.
Much of the early attention Ingresse has garnered has come as a result of market trends indicating that the pieces of the puzzle are in place for its success. As we’ve been following here at PulsoSocial, internet penetration and e-commerce are growing exponentially in Brazil right now. Ingresse’s market research estimates that the local online ticket sale industry will be worth US$24 billion by 2014, and its founders are especially optimistic about the doors opened with the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.
Ingresse co-founder and CEO Gabriel Benarrós discussed the platform with us to explain a bit more about how it works and where it’s going.
Emily Stewart: What is the Ingresse business model? Do you receive commissions off of ticket sales, and what other forms of revenue are involved?
Gabriel Benarrós: We do charge commission costs on top of ticket sales, which renders the platform a free service for organizers and venues. However, the producer does have the option to choose to absorb that cost, which brings down prices for purchasers.
We also offer marketing packages. These have not been coded in the website yet, but organizers can pay extra to have us managing their campaigns with Facebook, Google, etc. Usually, organizers are well-versed in traditional marketing, but they have no idea about what to do online.
ES: Up to now, how many users do you have, and how many events have been placed on your site?
GB: We have around 3,000 users registered to buy with one click and have received around 60,000 visitors in the first two months since launch. In that time period, we sold around 3000 tickets.
ES: How do you deal with security and logistics in vetting the validity of the event tickets being sold and their distribution?
GB: Putting it simply, there is a bar code linked to each account. Venues download our mobile app, which works as a scanner in validating the tickets. They can also verify tickets using an iPad, and many still like to download lists from the website. Users print their tickets or can choose to receive them on their phones. They are sent a code as an SMS or a URL in the case of smart phones.
Ingresse still has quite a way to go in its trajectory, but if its early investment success is any indication, it is headed in the right direction.