Published On: Fri, Jan 5th, 2018

Lea’s live eventuality partner for Messenger creates shopping tickets easier


Buying eventuality tickets online isn’t a good experience. Sites like Ticketmaster are a default, though are formidable to use and expensive. A startup called Lea wants to offer a some-more complicated knowledge by mixing eventuality search, discovery, chair preference and remuneration all in a singular focus that works right in Facebook Messenger.

Yes, that’s right — Lea is a chatbot.

And while bots haven’t had a warmest accepting as of yet, they’re increasingly apropos a common approach for consumers to correlate with apps and brands. But in a box of Lea, a chatbot-style interface might indeed work improved than regulating a ticketing website or dedicated mobile app, like Ticketmaster’s.

According to Lea’s CEO Brian Canty, a strange thought — behind when a association was famous as Ticktate — was to offer a concierge-like focus for shopping eventuality tickets. Similar to Postmates, a association would send people to a box bureau to buy tickets on users’ behalf. But this thought didn’t scale, Canty explains. It was costly and a box offices themselves pushed behind since of their low ties to Ticketmaster.

When a association assimilated 500 Startups in 2016, it was still self-funded, and in hunt of a indication that worked. That is, one that still finished it easier to find and buy eventuality tickets while charity users a feel of a “high-touch, hand-holding” knowledge they seemed to like from before, says Canty.

Initially, Lea attempted building a bot that used healthy denunciation estimate (NLP, that understands language) to assist with users’ inquires about tickets. But after 6 months of testing, a organisation found that a record on a possess wasn’t relating adult to user expectations.

“We motionless to lift out all a NLP and usually take advantage of a Facebook height to build something that accompanies a fan via a full tour of going to an event,” explains Canty. “Everything from find — we lift in their Spotify information, advise events formed on their plcae and what their friends like — to a discuss extension, Facebook’s underline for permitting people to discuss in a organisation with a bot and make purchases,” he says.

The bot currently works usually with Spotify, though a association aims to support Apple Music and SoundCloud in time.

It offers users a ability to hunt for specific artists, bands and concerts, or they can precedence Lea’s find mechanisms to stay sensitive of events they might like. Every week, Lea pushes out an refurbish with around 5 suggested events and afterwards marks those we click to urge a destiny recommendations.

When we find an eventuality we like, we can make a squeeze right from Messenger or your Messenger organisation chat, though withdrawal a app.

Every step a user takes in Lea is guided by a bot regulating prompts, though Lea hopes to supplement NLP behind in to enlarge a knowledge in a future.

As for a sheet prices, they’re market-based. Lea — like StubHub, SeatGeek, GameTime and others — works with third-party sheet exchanges, that cost tickets formed on their stream value. That is, if a eventuality is sole out, they might be aloft than a box office; if it’s not, they might be lower. Like competitors, it offers a vast database of around 20 million+ tickets.

But Lea is anticipating to sell consumers on a preference of a chatbot experience, not indispensably by charity a comprehensive lowest sheet prices. That will count on consumer adoption of chatbots in general, that is still a unsure bet.

It also hopes to tempt users by charity a full end-to-end knowledge in a singular place.

“If we consider about a standard ticketing company, find is finished off-platform — like a Songkick or Bandsintown,” records Canty. With Lea, a app starts with discovery, lets people devise in organisation discuss as usual, afterwards facilitates a purchase. “But after a purchase, there’s a lot that can still be finished in a digital format — things that can be value-adds,” he says.

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Lea has a lot of skeleton in that area. It aims to beget income with third-party integrations for things like concessions, parking and sell sales in destiny versions, for example. (Today it usually takes a 20 percent cut of sheet sales, so it needs some-more income streams.) It also wants to work with some-more platforms, like Slack, Telegram, WhatsApp, iMessage and SMS, voice platforms and others.

Though it’s still early, Lea is saying some traction, records Canty.

As of a third week in Dec 2017, a association had sole $500,000 value of tickets and has grown to 23,000 users. At one point, roughly half a users were repeat customers. (But this isn’t always a box — not everybody goes to concerts all a time, so repeat use needs to be totalled over a longer duration of time.)

To assist with a development, Lea recently sealed on $600,000 in angel appropriation from a series of important investors.

The list includes Danny Zhang, CTO of Wish; Haroon Mirza, GP of Skyrocket Ventures, financier in SnapTravel; Vito Bialla, Bialla Ventures, financier in Freshly; Chun Han, executive of Data Science during Yahoo!; Jeanne Lim, CMO of Hanson Robotics (creators of Sophia Bot); Hao Zheng, CEO of Plus.ai; and Seth Flowerman, financier in Ticketbis.

The app is accessible here for Facebook Messenger.

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