A few weeks ago Techcrunch was featured on the news of the $12 million investment in the startup YPlan, which develops a mobile app for London nightlife. The company had already received an investment of 1.7 million dollars in 2012 to seek to be the benchmark in the dissemination and reservation of night events (parties, concerts, etc.) in the British capital.
The case of YPlan seems interesting to me because it is the perfect example of a simple idea, nothing original, but an extraordinary execution on several fronts. In the first place, due to the excellent reception it has had among users, reaching 200,000 users (10% of the iPhone base in London) during its first months of activity and promoting more of 2,500 events. Without a doubt, they have done a hard job attracting the agencies that promote these events. In addition, they have opted for a clear differentiation compared to the giants of event bookings with a mobile-first approach and seeking discovery of events in the “last minute”. YPlan knows its clients, recommends events that they may like and enjoy at the moment and, above all, facilitates the payment and reservation of these events (source of enormous income). YPlan, therefore, is knowing how to take the “last-minute” model to mobile phones. The business model also presents enormous scalability through geographic growth. As commented in Techcrunch, it seems that now they are going to land in New York, a city without a doubt with a huge agenda of events.
There is enormous business potential for apps that help us manage and take advantage of our time, both free time and work time. The proximity of the mobile allows simple applications to be positioned as powerful sales windows (aggregation) that simplify our lives. As a counterpoint to the business model, it could be argued that the entry barrier for new entrants does not seem very high. This lies, on the one hand, in the ability to attract event promoting agencies and, on the other, in the greater or lesser ease of making themselves known to the user. In the growing chaos of apps this second barrier is undoubtedly growing rapidly.
Is there an opportunity for this type of apps in Spain?Probably yes, but much more refined. The purchase of tickets to events on the mobile is undoubtedly an act of spontaneous purchase, and this type of purchase is now greatly diminished in Spain given the deep consumer crisis and the decreasing purchasing power, in this case (nightlife), of Young. However, I bet that there are interesting niches for apps that operate in this field and bet on market niches with sufficient purchasing power.