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Weekend is approaching and sitting in a ten-by-ten cubicle you are busy figuring out your weekend plan. Instead of flipping over numerous web pages, discussing among your friends’ circle or with family members and listening to their unusual or at times weird suggestions; you can simply turn to your mobile. Ready to take the strain from the entire process, a myriad of event discovery apps are available to help you never miss a fun gig or entertainment activity happening around you.
Popular event discovery apps like TownTrot, Nearify, EventsHigh and others offer an amazing way to discover trending events happening in users’ vicinity. The core purpose is to never let any user spend free time getting bored at home – be it a weekend or a vacation or even when they are travelling for work.
Prateek Sachan is one such young lad from IIT-Delhi, who along with his batch-mate Divyam Singhal co-founded TownTrot in January 2015 in New Delhi. The team of talented techies has, in past, worked with well-known brands like Zomato and AT Kearney.
Involved in lot of extra-curricular activities during college time, Sachan’s soon realized that he does not have an interesting life outside work anymore. Post discussing his problem with his other friends, he came to know that they were also facing the same dilemma. This led him to work on TownTrot, an event discovery app that help users discover the best upcoming and local events in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore through a minimum-click, clutter-free, map-based user interface (UI).
Sharing his thoughts on the same, Sachan says, “We started off by collating all kinds of events, activities and workshops that are happening around Delhi-NCR. Of late, we have started online ticketing for more than a dozen clients and expanded to Bangalore as well.”
From discovering parties and nightlife to adventure, movie screenings and food, users are becoming experimental in trying and living different experiences. TownTrot aims to be the next generation lifestyle guide for its users. The venture has also raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding in past and the fund would be utilized to hire more people expand into other cities.
Eyeing Hyperlocal Events
The app, which currently runs on Android, claims to have over 10,000 users on its platform, with 75-85 per cent month-on-month growth rate. The iOS version is expected to go live in about a month’s time. “We're focusing on hyperlocal events space. Our aim is to connect micro event organisers to their target audience. An average user spends about 5 minutes on our app and 3 minutes on our website every day. With just 4 months of launch, it’s a huge milestone for us,” shares an elated Sachan.
Apart from just providing the events search and discovery feature, the team has already started working on event ticketing feature to bring more traction. Further, they are also working on personalised event recommendations based on users’ profile and mood.
On asking what motivates or inspires them to continue working in this space, Sachan replies, “We mostly seek mentorship from our angel investor. Other than that, people's feedback makes us realize that we are creating value. That is what keeps us going. In addition, since smartphone prices have reduced tremendously and Internet penetration has tripled in the last 5 years, we think the time is ripe.”
Explaining their current revenue model, the TownTrot team shares they do not charge anything extra from merchants, as they only need to pay for the payment gateway charges per transaction.
Speaking about their future monetization plan, Sachan surprisingly reveals, “There are no plans to monetize TownTrot in near future. We can harness the platform for monetization only after we have at least a million users on our platform, which should take around a year from now.”
With and ultimate long-term vision to go global, TownTrot clearly differentiates itself from other similar platforms. The team manually curates events' data on its platform. They are working on sales and bring a new merchant on their platform every day. Whereas, the team claims that other platforms like Nearify or All Events in City are just scraping off content from Facebook and putting it on a mobile app, and are still waiting to open their platform to merchants.
Speaking on scalability issue, Sachan points out that scaling would not be a problem as there is no manual process required. Hence, once we created a brand value, we can easily scale to include other cities as well, where there will be a constant flow of event organizers creating events for local audiences.