Ticketpass: Rodrigo Bautista
Name of founder: Rodrigo Bautista
Date Launched: 22nd July 2019
Number of employees: 5
Age of founder: 29
Which university, if any, did you attend? Anahuac University (Mexico City), Nottingham University and Warwick University.
Tickets please! Merging event ticketing with social good, Ticketpass is a ticketing platform that uses the booking fee to support charitable projects, combining keen entrepreneurship with a sharp sense of social good.
A free platform for free events, Ticketpass will only charge a 10% booking fee on top of paid tickets (a fraction of the booking fee compared to other platforms), with a £5 cap, 50% of which will be donated to a charitable cause, whilst the other 50% is used to run the business.
Read on to learn all about this unusual startup revolutionising our passbooks.
Tell us what your business does:
Ticketpass is a social-impact and Tech-for-Good company providing a more ethical ticketing platform with a fair and people-first approach. Ticketpass allows event organisers to create their paid or free events and have social impact – completely free of charge.
We believe that ticketing should be social and ethical, so we pledge to donate half of our revenue from booking fees to charitable projects from around the world – we call this the “Give Back 50” promise.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
It was the frustration of being forced to buy tickets in secondary markets where re-sellers increase prices and had to pay exorbitant booking fees. This made me think about the ticketing industry as a whole, and concluded that, in many ways, it’s an outdated and broken industry. My idea was to make it fairer, and prove that it can be done whilst helping those in need and benefiting the environment.
How did you know there was a market for it?
Ticketing is a multi-billion market. Although current players are attempting to make their models slightly more ethical, nobody is looking to incorporate the social mission into the core of their identity. We want to be the TOMS of ticketing. Giving back shouldn’t just be a small extra, we need to make it a big deal.
What were you doing before starting up?
In Mexico, I worked for Adidas. I helped them launch their e-learning platform and later run their e-commerce operations.
Then, I decided to pursue a Postgraduate degree at Warwick University. I managed to win the Apprentice Challenge from Warwick Entrepreneurs and the Warwick Startup Cup. The university supported me massively, and provided me an entrepreneurship visa.
Later that year, I moved to London and joined HiyaCar, the British Airbnb for cars in their early days to understand the world of startups.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes and no. My dad and my granddad are both ‘entrepreneurs’ and had their own businesses, but as I was growing up, I never really thought I was going to follow that path.
Probably because, since I can remember, I’ve been practising sports to a competitive level, so my dream was to work for a multi-national sports company like Adidas or Nike. So when I had the opportunity to work at the Adidas HQ in Mexico, I was living it! However, my frustration with the ticketing industry grew bigger and I had to do something about it.
After all, maybe I do have some entrepreneurship in me and a mission to accomplish – reshaping an industry and using tickets to do good.
How did you raise the money?
We’re a self-funded business.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
First, it’s important to highlight that we are a social-impact company. We do aim to be self-sufficient, provide excellent working conditions and help those in need.
Our current revenue stream is through a booking fee normally covered by the attendee. The booking fee is designed to be simple, fair and friendly, is 10%, capped at £5.00, and only applicable to paid tickets. Ticketpass takes half of that as revenue, the other half is donated to charity. For free events, we don’t charge booking fees.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
As an entrepreneur, every day you are solving new challenges, but probably the biggest one that I faced was developing the current platform.
Unlike many founders that outsource their development, or have a co-founder that is a developer, I wanted to prove the concept of fair ticketing first, and then use technology to scale it. This requires patience, forward thinking and building the right team.
What was your first big breakthrough?
After working to prove the concept – cycling around selling tickets and teaching myself basic coding to build a WordPress MVP – my first big breakthrough was when I won the Warwick Startup Cup and the University of Warwick sponsored my entrepreneurship visa, allowing me to continue developing Ticketpass.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Don’t get carried away with your ego, be open to feedback and listen to your team, advisers, and crucially, your users. You are not alone, and if you need help, ask for it.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Our goal is to become one of the event platforms of choice in the UK and (ultimately) globally, enabling ethical ticketing around the world. It’s also within our plans to launch further features and initiatives to combat ticket touting. Ultimately, we want to spread our model to tickets of all sorts.