Singapore-based events and ticketing platform Hapz has raised just over US$500,000 in seed funding, it announced today. Cocoon Capital, Quest Ventures, TinkBig Venture, and Singapore Press Holdings’ SPH Media Fund participated in the round, alongside an unnamed angel investor.
Hapz aggregates information on a host of arts and entertainment events in the Lion City – including concerts, festivals, sports matches, and tourist attractions – and curates these according to its users’ preferences.
We realized that organizing an event is like setting up a new business every 6 months.
The platform’s dynamic pricing model allows users to name the price that they’d be willing to pay for #tickets to these events. Hapz calculates whether these bids fall within the current pricing range, and if users are successful in their offer, the transaction is completed. The company works with event organizers to establish dynamic pricing, which is based on multiple factors including available inventory and time until the event, among others.
Hapz has had 8,500 users sign up since it launched in May this year, and claims to have facilitated ticket sales of more than US$365,000 so far.
Hapz co-founder and CEO Kendrick Wong tells Tech in Asia that the idea for the platform came from his time working in the events industry, when he encountered first hand some of the key challenges facing organizers in reaching out to the right customers. “We realized that organizing an event is like setting up a new business every 6 months,” he says.
On the flipside, Wong found that would-be event goers would often struggle to find information about events going on in the city that would be of interest to them. “Many a time, they’d miss out on good events because they didn’t see the advertisement on time, or the tickets were too highly priced,” he says. Hapz was developed with the intention of bridging this gap between events and the people that would be most interested in attending them.
Bridging the gap
Online ticketing platforms, ticket exchanges, and events listings sites like Songkick and Ticketbox are among Hapz’s key competitors. There are also a few startups elsewhere in the region hoping to disrupt this space, such as Thailand’s Event Pop and Indonesia’s Loket.
However, Wong thinks that Hapz is differentiated by its business model, which seeks to align its platform with the interests of both event goers and event organisers, and not one group over the other. He says that Hapz relies on its own marketing efforts and channels to pull customers to its platform, while the onus on achieving this remains with event organisers with most other platforms.
The other organizer-friendly element to Hapz’s offering is the data on pricing trends, demographics, user preferences, and competitor performance that it can provide. This can help events organizers to pursue more targeted marketing efforts. This has attracted others to the platform, outside of the events field; in addition to working with the organisers of events like dance music festival Ultra and movie-focused Dreamworks Day, Hapz has also partnered with the likes of General Electric, which uses the platform as part of its corporate benefits scheme for Singapore-based employees.
Hapz said in a press release that it will use the seed capital to hire more team members and secure further partnerships across Southeast Asia.
Converted from Singapore dollar. Rate: US$1 = S$1.36.