Lea’s live event assistant for Messenger makes buying tickets easier

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Purchasing tournament tickets on-line isn’t a really perfect revel in. Websites like Ticketmaster are the default, however are tough to make use of and costly. A startup referred to as Lea needs to supply a extra trendy revel in by way of combining tournament seek, discovery, seat variety and fee all in one software that works proper in Fb Messenger.

Sure, that’s proper — Lea is a chatbot.

And whilst bots haven’t had the warmest reception as of but, they’re more and more changing into a commonplace approach for customers to engage with apps and types. However within the case of Lea, the chatbot-style interface would possibly in fact work higher than the usage of a ticketing web site or devoted cell app, like Ticketmaster’s.

In keeping with Lea’s CEO Brian Canty, the unique concept — again when the corporate was once referred to as Ticktate — was once to supply a concierge-like software for purchasing tournament tickets. Very similar to Postmates, the corporate would ship other folks to the field office to shop for tickets on customers’ behalf. However this concept didn’t scale, Canty explains. It was once pricey and the field places of work themselves driven again on account of their deep ties to Ticketmaster.

When the corporate joined 500 Startups in 2016, it was once nonetheless self-funded, and searching for a fashion that labored. This is, one that also made it more uncomplicated to seek out and purchase tournament tickets whilst providing customers the texture of the “high-touch, hand-holding” revel in they looked as if it would like from earlier than, says Canty.

To start with, Lea attempted development a bot that used herbal language processing (NLP, which understands language) to assist with customers’ inquires about tickets. However after six months of trying out, the crew discovered that the technology by itself wasn’t matching as much as consumer expectancies.

“We decided to pull out all the NLP and just take advantage of the Facebook platform to build something that accompanies the fan throughout the full journey of going to an event,” explains Canty. “Everything from discovery — we pull in their Spotify information, suggest events based on their location and what their friends like — to a chat extension, Facebook’s feature for allowing people to chat in a group with a bot and make purchases,” he says.

The bot lately works simplest with Spotify, however the corporate goals to strengthen Apple Song and SoundCloud in time.

It gives customers the power to seek for particular artists, bands and live shows, or they may be able to leverage Lea’s discovery mechanisms to stick knowledgeable of occasions they are going to like. Each and every week, Lea pushes out an replace with round 5 recommended occasions after which tracks the ones you click on to beef up its long term suggestions.

Whilst you in finding an tournament you favor, you’ll be able to make the acquisition proper from Messenger or your Messenger workforce chat, with out leaving the app.

Each and every step the consumer takes in Lea is guided by way of the bot the usage of activates, however Lea hopes so as to add NLP again in to enhance the revel in sooner or later.

As for the price ticket costs, they’re market-based. Lea — like StubHub, SeatGeek, GameTime and others — works with third-party price ticket exchanges, which worth tickets in line with their present price. This is, if the development is bought out, they could also be upper than the field office; if it’s now not, they could also be decrease. Like competition, it gives a big database of round 20 million+ tickets.

However Lea is hoping to promote customers at the comfort of the chatbot revel in, now not essentially by way of providing absolutely the lowest price ticket costs. That is determined by client adoption of chatbots basically, which continues to be a dangerous wager.

It additionally hopes to lure customers by way of providing the entire end-to-end revel in in one position.

“If you think about a typical ticketing company, discovery is done off-platform — like a Songkick or Bandsintown,” notes Canty. With Lea, the app begins with discovery, shall we other folks plan in workforce chat as same old, then facilitates the acquisition. “But after the purchase, there’s a lot that can still be done in the digital format — things that can be value-adds,” he says.

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Lea has numerous plans in that space. It goals to generate earnings with third-party integrations for such things as concessions, parking and products gross sales in long term variations, as an example. (These days it simplest takes a 20 p.c lower of price ticket gross sales, so it wishes extra earnings streams.) It additionally needs to work with extra platforms, like Slack, Telegram, WhatsApp, iMessage and SMS, voice platforms and others.

Despite the fact that it’s nonetheless early, Lea is seeing some traction, notes Canty.

As of the 1/3 week in December 2017, the corporate had bought $500,000 value of tickets and has grown to 23,000 customers. At one level, virtually part the customers had been repeat consumers. (However this isn’t at all times the case — now not everybody is going to live shows always, so repeat utilization must be measured over an extended time period.)

To assist with its construction, Lea just lately closed on $600,000 in angel investment from a lot of notable buyers.

The listing contains Danny Zhang, CTO of Want; Haroon Mirza, GP of Skyrocket Ventures, investor in SnapTravel; Vito Bialla, Bialla Ventures, investor in Freshly; Chun Han, director of Knowledge Science at Yahoo!; Jeanne Lim, CMO of Hanson Robotics (creators of Sophia Bot); Hao Zheng, CEO of Plus.ai; and Seth Flowerman, investor in Ticketbis.

The app is to be had right here for Fb Messenger.

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Tags: #Assistant #buying #easier #event #Leas #live #Messenger #tickets

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