The Entrepreneur: Dana Lattouf, Tickitto

Tickitto makes purchasing tickets easy, giving its users access to real-time ticketing supply availability from 325 sources around the world. We speak to Dana, founder of Tickitto, about her journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

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Startups was founded over 20 years ago by a serial entrepreneur. Today, our expert team of writers, researchers, and editors work to provide our 4 million readers with useful tips and information, as well as running award-winning campaigns. We interview successful entrepreneurs from all over the UK, celebrating their achievements, hard work, and determination to get to where they are today. This article was authored by:

Company: Tickitto
Founder: Dana Lattouf
Website: tickitto.com

Tickitto has its grip firmly on the future of ticket sales for businesses around the world. Not only is it a B2B marketplace for tickets to some of the biggest events from the best brands around the world, but the platform also streamlines the ticket sale process for B2C. Businesses can use Tickitto’s software to deliver event tickets to consumers at 1% of the effort it would traditionally take – whether they are an airline, a bank or even a social media platform.

Dana Lattouf, founder and CEO of Tickitto, speaks to Startups about business achievements, building a ticketing business in the midsts of a global pandemic, and how her studies helped build the foundations of her hugely successful digital business.

The Business

Describe your business model and what makes your business unique:

In the future, people will buy tickets for live events and experiences from companies they already deal with, whether that’s their travel agent, their airline, their bank or even their favourite social media platform. Our job is to help those companies incorporate tickets into their services with minimal fuss.

We have a range of technologies that build on our core REST API (application interface) which allows our partners to access a world of events and experiences with one integration, rather than 300+ as they would previously have to. From there, our business model is simple: we share a proportion of each ticket sold – as our partners succeed so do we.

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What is your greatest business achievement to date?

We’re very proud of having developed the end-to-end technological solution, including creating a range of partnerships with ticket providers from around the world, during a global pandemic. It would have been easy to just assume we should put things on hold, but it was our opportunity to really focus on building our technology, partnership and culture so that we could be ready to launch when the events industry returned. And that’s exactly what we managed to do.

How did you fund your business?

We just finished our Seed Round of $4.5m which gives us a great runway and allows us to attract top talent to continue our mission.

What numbers do you look at every day in your business?

We look at a range: obviously the value of our inventory is a key metric as this shows the level of dynamism we can offer consumers in their choice of events – it’s currently at roughly $20bn and growing every day.

We also look very hard at any satisfaction measures – any indication that we are falling down on the high standards we set ourselves for customer service would be something we need to jump on quickly.

Finally, we look at our conversion statistics which are a great way of telling us whether we’re offering the right tickets to the right people at the right time. If we get this right, we know we’re adding value to the experience our clients can offer their customers.

To what extent does your business trade internationally?

We’re global from day one – we have access to tickets to events all over the world and need to remember that consumers are not just looking for great experiences in their own locality but also for when they travel on holiday or for business.

Where would you like your business to be in five years?

We see ourselves being well positioned to become a global leader in the travel sector by offering the right services to our clients and by helping them add value to their customers. We are a remote first business, and we are already attracting talent from different geographies and cultures.

What software or technology has made the biggest difference to your business?

Our REST API is the core of our business and is the differentiator that allows us to challenge the norm in our industry. This has been a huge investment of time and creativity but also reflects a process of diligence in making sure we rigorously check the quality of the data coming into our platform so that we can ensure we add value to our clients.


Growth Challenges

What is the biggest challenge you've faced in business?

Undoubtedly, to be building a ticketing business in the depths of a global pandemic was challenging. We, like the rest of the industry, couldn’t tell when we’d be back up and running, but the timing has worked out well for us. We saw it as an opportunity to focus internally and to concentrate on getting the basics right and setting the highest standards.

What was your biggest business mistake and what did you learn from it?

In our very early days, we really thought the Facebook chatbot would be a game-changer in consumer interactions and our first idea for Tickitto was exactly that. We’re so thankful that we realised early that the real value in what we were doing was in consolidating, standardising and enhancing ticket data and that there was a much bigger business opportunity there for us in focusing on that.

What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you started on your business journey?

Success starts – and ends – with the mindset.

Success starts - and ends - with the mindset.

Personal growth

Did you study business or learn on the job?

Yes, I studied Business Administration at the University of Bath School of Management, which was great in all sorts of ways. First, I learned so much about starting a digital business, I also had a great opportunity to do it for real through the University’s innovation bursary. But perhaps most importantly Tickitto’s top team met there – we had different backgrounds admittedly, but the University was our first common ground.

What would make you a better leader?

More self-reflection. I’m a firm believer that there’s no defined formula for ‘leadership’. True leadership requires specific characteristics based on the situation. You need to reflect to be able to decide what characteristics you should bring out and when.

One business app and one personal app you can’t do without?

Recently started using the motion app to optimise my workday and I seem to really be liking the experience so far.

As for the personal app, it has to be Sleep Cycle. With Sleep Cycle, and as counterintuitive as it may sound, I now actually love morning alarms.

A business book or podcast that you think is great:

‘Masters of Scale', a podcast hosted by Reid Hoffman.

Finally, what’s the most important piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur starting a business?

Following on from the above question and because I really wish someone had told me this when I first started, my advice would be: Success starts – and ends – with the mindset.

Ross has been writing for Startups since May 2021, specialising in sustainable business and telephone systems. He also runs the successful entrepreneur's section of the website.

He's previously written for Conde Nast Traveller and the NME and is passionate about music, sustainability, and travelling. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.

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