“The secondary ticket market is a murky place – think touts, fake tickets and online fraud,” says Dingo co-founder Paul Roiter. His startup, which offers a so-called fan-to-fan ticketing app for iOS that lets you sell unwanted tickets, is hoping to change that.
In doing so, the company is also taking aim at established aftermarket ticketing platforms, such as Viagogo, Stubhub, and Seatwave, along with the classified ad sites like Craigslist and Gumtree that these companies originally sought to disrupt.
“Trading spare tickets is often a nightmare,” says Roiter, noting that the business of shifting unwanted event tickets still invariably takes place across “multiple” channels. It’s also plagued with numerous risks that existing platforms only go so far to mitigate.
“You have to trust that the counter-party is genuine and not a scammer hiding behind a fake account. Then there is the awkward issue of payment. Sellers often want to receive the money first, putting the buyer at risk. Even if the buyer and seller decide to meet in person there is still the risk that one party doesn’t show or the tickets exchanged are fake,’ he says.
To tackle this, Dingo has rather smartly tweaked the existing fan-to-fan ticketing model. Its headline feature is that tickets offered through the app are prohibited to be sold at more than their original price. This, presumably, is designed to keep tickets touts off the platform and puts the emphasis squarely on “fan-to-fan”.
Dingo also takes a lower commission than more established players. It charges 10 per cent versus the typical 25-30 per cent that is standard across the industry. Coupled with the non-inflated pricing cap, that feels reasonably disruptive.
To help eradicate fraud, the app employs an escrow payment model whereby money is held by Dingo until 48 hours after the event. “We guarantee that buyers will receive a full refund if the tickets don’t show up,” says Roiter.
And in a typical ‘mobile-first’ move, the app has been built to be mobile (and social) from the get-go. “As a standalone app Dingo is designed for mobile versus competitors who are playing catch up on mobile. Users login with Facebook or Twitter and listing tickets is done in under 30 seconds. The payment is also incredibly easy with just a few taps.”
Whether or not these features will be enough to unseat the likes of Seatwave et. al — disrupting the disrupters, if you will — only time will tell. For now, Dingo is only available in London and consists of a team of four based in the ‘Silicon Roundabout’ area. It’s funded to the tune of £150,000 from the venture arm of Ingenious Media. As I say, early days.