Area360 launches Ticketure, in a bid to disrupt the major ticketing companies
A Wellington software development company wants to turn the ticketing industry on its head, pledging to take the sting out of buying tickets online.
Area360 has created Ticketure, a platform which allows an organisation to sell its own tickets over its own website, which will remove extra fees charged by the major ticketing organisations.
Chief executive Chris Smith said the technology could significantly change the events market, creating competition for the likes of Ticketmaster and Ticketek.
"This product was designed to disrupt the ticket industry, transforming the problems with fees."
Area360 was working with about 30 New Zealand sports and attraction institutions.
About five of them were evaluating the company's platform and considering how to deploy the technology.
New Zealand would likely see "some big names" start using the ticket platform in next few months, he said.
The current ticketing system was based on a traditional model that had manual components, which was why there were so many fees.
Automated technology would change the way people bought tickets because it would improve data ownership and processing issues, Smith said.
"This means we will be able to drastically reduce the fee institutions pay to a ticketing company, which ultimately means a drastically reduced fee passed onto the consumer. It will be a win-win situation where you pay less but our margins are just as high because we reduced expense."
The platform was launched about five months ago in the world-renowned Broad Museum in Los Angeles, selling 160,000 tickets.
It deliberately launched overseas, with some of the largest venues in the world, which had gained attention from competitors, Smith said.
He planned to continue growing research and development in Wellington and roll out all its capabilities aggressively in New Zealand.
Area360 was previously known as Stqry, which created an information app that is used in 500 museums around the world, and was inspired by Wellington Zoo.
Stqry was still operating and the business had resources to support the app but it was no longer the primary focus, he said.
In September last year Stqry closed a $5.5 million funding round and announced the name change to expand overseas.
The new name would distinguish Stqry from new products, Smith said.
Area360 also wanted to disrupt the way consumers interacted with institutions they were buying tickets.
It had developed a mobile system that would eliminate the need to queue at various ticket counters in venues.
An app had been developed allowing users to buy and print tickets on the spot.
"We want to revitalise all concepts of ticketing and make it a seamless experience. For example a visitor will be able to buy a ticket from a staff member in the lobby instead of lining up at a desk and filling out forms," Smith said.
The company set up a US headquarters in Seattle and hired an executive team there.
Its advisors include Gareth Morgan, Dion Mortensen, Alan Gourdie and Sven Baker.
Smith, who is from the United States, moved to Wellington ten years ago to study at Victoria University.
In 2008 he co-founded Dash to sell affordable tickets for university events. This "hobby" soon became a business, which was sold to TicketDirect in 2013.