Founded in March 2019, Ticknovate is a ticketing solution to handle
complex inventories and is built for upselling and cross-selling.
The company currently works with ferries and large attractions in the
United Kingdom and the Nordics, with plans to expand in Europe soon.
What is your 30-second pitch to investors?
Ticknovate is an innovative software-as-a-service
ticketing solution that has been co-created with large attractions and ferries
businesses in the United Kingdom and the Nordics. We
help businesses sell more to more customers. We take complex ticketing
processes and via a simple but intuitive platform, we provide powerful
functionality. This enables business to monetize every step of the customer
journey, while harnessing new revenue opportunities.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of
The genesis story of Ticknovate goes back to
the year 2018 when the team behind the product was involved in a digital
transformation project for City Cruises, the largest sightseeing tour company
in the U.K. The brief was quite simple: “You have four million
customers each year. How can they be enticed to spend more?” We
have been grappling with this challenge ever since to realize that there is a
gap in the market for a ticketing solution capable of handling complex
inventory, is built for upselling and cross-selling from the ground up,
offers a true omni-channel customer service and can be easily extended.
Ticknovate is built based on a modern software
architecture using microservices where we have arranged the platform as a
collection of loosely coupled services (products, inventory, orders, tickets, payments,
etc.) that are developed and released independently. Breaking up the
problem domain into smaller chunks makes it easier to extend those services to
add new features and quicker to release them to our customers. Using Ticknovate one can
manage every aspect of their ticketing business from one highly intuitive admin
interface (built for tours, ferries/transportation,
attractions, and entry events). Functionality is then exposed to all customer touch points, online travel
agents and third-party software vendors via Rest APIs. Ticknovate offers a state-of-the-art ticketing
smartPOS solution that allows staff on the ground to sell and issue
tickets, scan tickets, offer upgrades to existing bookings and manage any
booking enquiries through one easy to carry and use device.
Finally, the system offers a powerful suite of upselling and
cross-selling mechanisms out of the box. This is made possible through
our multi-layered approach of setting up products in the system. In
the first layer, you set up your services, which is what you are running
in the physical world. On top of the services, we are layering the product
definitions that tell the system how to sell access to the
services. Promotions are layered on top of the products to provide ad hoc
incentives for selling those products. Finally, you can create combos by
combining two or more products in the same booking for a discount.
Products in a combo can be yours or include external products so that you can
sell your products in conjunctions with third-party products for a
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.
- Strengths - we have co-created our product with
customers in our target industries and as a result we know that our platform
properly alleviates key pain points for them. The solution is built based on a
modern, highly extensible and scalable architecture.
- Weaknesses - we are a new entrant with not many case
studies as yet.
- Opportunities - businesses in any industry, more so
the travel industry, are more than ever committed to their digital
transformation efforts, and ticketing for our target sectors is at the core of
their digital infrastructure.
- Threats - for Google, Facebook or even Amazon to
launch their own ticketing solutions.
What are the travel pain points you are trying to
alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
We have built a ticketing solution that makes it easy
to handle complex inventory (i.e. sell transportation services alongside
hospitality events all managed under the same roof), is built
for upselling and cross-selling from the ground up, offers a true omnichannel
customer service and can be easily extended to accommodate for the pace of
change in the tourism marketplace.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of
We have a clear
marketing strategy, which involves our partners and focuses on the growth of
the business. We will be using our experience to scale up, highlighting the
benefits of our service in key markets and raising brand awareness in travel
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish
a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
We have co-created our platform with major sightseeing
tours and attractions so we know that we have the right solution for
the addressable market.
How and when will you make money?
Ticknovate is a
transactional platform. It works like any other SaaS platform. We provide the software, manage your hosting, continue to
develop the platform, undertake maintenance and provide you with support
tailored to your business. In return you pay a small fee per ticket sold
without incurring any upfront costs. The fee-per-ticket model sold uses
economies of scale to reduce as you sell more tickets.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of
the founding team?
Yiannis Maglaras, the founding member and managing director
of Ticknovate, is a serial entrepreneur with two exits thus far. The first was
in 2014 when Ubinow, an award winning mobile apps production and marketing
agency founded in 2018, got acquired by Havas Work Club, and the second one in
2019, when Flexy, a temporary workers marketplace, got acquired by Impellam. The
management team consists of highly experienced individuals in software
development, SaaS platforms and business development who have worked for blue
chip companies and have decades of experience delivering solutions with
immediate impact to the growth and scalability of the business.
How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within
We are a team of 12 coming from six different
What's been the most difficult part of founding the
business so far?
As Ticknovate had to support the biggest sightseeing
tour company in the U.K. from the get go, we couldn't just launch an
MVP version of the product but had to have all the necessary bells and whistles
from start. That meant that we needed a substantial investment in building the
solution in the first place, that of course, is paying dividends now as we
are possibly the most feature rich ticketing solution in the market.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time
making an impact - so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
It's down to having the right product at the right
time, and we truly believe that this is the case for us. COVID-19 outbreak has
been a blessing in disguise in our case in that businesses selling ticketed
experiences were suddenly faced with a plethora of new requirements imposed by
social distancing rules, including offering time slot entries, advanced
inventory management and frictionless customer experiences, plus the even more
pressing need for building resilience in their business through cross-sell and
upsells. Ticknovate was COVID-19 ready before COVID-19 and this, in itself,
gives us a significant competitive advantage towards the incumbents who offer a
mile wide, inch deep ticketing functionality. And those requirements will still
be relevant in the post COVID-19 era.
A year from now, what state do you think your startup
will be in?
We will have numerous case studies within all our
target industries, strong presence in the U.K. and the Nordics and a
strong sales pipeline in other European markets, and nearing
What is your end-game? (Going public, acquisition,
growing and staying private, etc.)
Due to the transactional nature of our business, the
key objective is to achieve profitability and sustainable but
significant business growth as fast as possible. Once achieved, it will be a
matter of either getting acquired (from an organization that either offers
complimentary to our product services, an online travel Agent or even
competitor), or staying private till we go public.
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