By Mirianna la Grasta
A passionate traveller and former tech consultant for Accenture, Dana Lattouf founded Tickitto in 2017. The UK-based B2B startup aims to unlock the power of global ticketing, by offering an intuitive API that allows travel companies to access tickets to events and experiences around the world all in one place.
Tickitto likes to compare its goal to the revolution brought about by central banking. Whether we’re talking sports, music, theatre, tours or museums, they want companies in the travel and leisure sector to be able to search, book and manage tickets for experiences around the world by using one single system, so that they can create complete and appealing offerings for their customers.
This week, Tickitto has closed a funding round of $700,000 led by Seedcamp, Europe’s leading early-stage investor. We sat down with its founder and CEO Dana Lattouf to learn more about the company and how they’re doing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
How Did You Come Up With The Idea?
We weren’t born as an entirely B2B company. Tickitto started off as wanting to solve a personal pain point for myself. I’m a passionate traveller, and when I travel to new cities with my family we’re keen to discover experiences and events in that place; we’re not just interested in the local culture and city tours. Once, we ended up spending almost 20 hours of a 72-hour-trip trying to find tickets to activities and events in one city. I wanted to solve that problem. So, initially, because I was a consumer at that point, it made sense for me to look at how to build a consumer platform that could help me solve that problem.
Essentially, the logic would be putting all of the tickets in one place. But when we started doing the research and the testing for Tickitto, we realised that, actually, the problem is not the consumer-facing platform, but the underlying infrastructure: there’s no central place where all of the tickets are aggregated. Ticketing nowadays is a fragmented industry. Direct-to-consumer ticketing companies tend to focus either on a single genre, whether that’s culture, music or sports, or they operate in a specific region of the world.
What Is Tickitto’s Goal?
We believe that the ability to give open access to tickets will drive a massive revolution, similar to what we’ve seen with open banking. By opening up access to tickets, and allowing travel companies to build external collaboration capabilities, the entire leisure industry would benefit on a global scale. Ticketing companies would be able to sell more tickets, while consumers and solo travellers would be able to gain access to the best experiences around the world.
What’s It Like To Be The CEO Of Tickitto?
They tell you that the founder should be a Jack of all trades in the early days, right? As the CEO, I make sure that the company is well oiled and running efficiently, by liaising with our different teams – sales, marketing, commerce – and ensuring that Tickitto has the resources it needs, whether that’s funding, people, tech infrastructures, products, subscriptions, or any external support. Naturally, given my interest and experience in data, I’m still super keen to work with our data and back-end team. I’m very much involved when it comes to cleaning data and making sure that it fits with the product we’re trying to build. I’m a really hands-on CEO, and you have to be, in my opinion… otherwise, the joy of building things will fade away quickly.
What Is Working For Tickitto Like During The Covid-19 Pandemic?
Everyone is working remotely, as we always have. As a startup, it’s quite the thing: I think you need to have remote working, otherwise, you feel like things won’t progress. What’s been quite new to me is onboarding employees remotely. People on video calls are quite different from people in real life, so it was quite an interesting experience to have quite a few people joining us on the team this way.
It’s Refreshing To Know There Are Companies Still Hiring During Lockdown…
Of course! We have to grow! Our industry at the moment is completely dead, but once things pick up we cannot start from scratch, we should be ready to ride the wave of growth, so, I’m hedging our bets basically…
And How Are You Feeling About That?
Quite nervous, actually, because you have to re-think your strategy every one or two days, given things are moving very quickly. But I’m quite confident that we’re doing things in a way that makes us continuously progress, without actually adding a burden on the business in the long run. It’s working out to be nice, and it’s a good test for your mentality and your decision-making skills, which is always a good challenge!