Discovering the right event with Calendo
By Gabey Goh July 18, 2013
- New event discovery app aims to help people make better decisions about events they attend
- Now eyes global expansion with newly launched support for eight languages
EVER missed an interesting event just because you weren’t aware it existed?
Eran Back (pic, right) noticed that he did, constantly, and the problem sparked an impulse to create a product that would tackle the conundrum.
That initial impulse became reality in the form of Calendo, a mobile event discovery app that claims to offer a more effective and relevant way to discover what’s happening.
“Calendo’s vision is to help people enrich their offline lives by allowing them to discover new activities, expand their social circles and make better use of their leisure time,” said Back, who holds the position of co-founder and chief executive officer at the Israeli-based startup.
Back and co-founder Dov Frank (above pic, left) are veterans in the startup space, with Back’s most recent venture being Tagsback – an automatic photo-sharing platform. Frank is the founder of social shopping platform eGroupy and previously worked at Backweb technologies as director of engineering.
The duo teamed up with Saar Wilf, a serial entrepreneur and founder of fraud detection provider Fraud Sciences, which was acquired by eBay for US$169 million in 2008. Wilf invested US$500,000 in a seed round in the venture and currently serves as chairman of the board.
Thousands of events are published on social media sites and throughout the Web every day, but people are aware of only a fraction of them, mostly through Facebook by receiving an invitation or noting a friend’s attendance.
Calendo aims to help people make better decisions about events they attend. The app constantly scans for new events on Facebook, prioritises them, and filters for each user only those he or she would find interesting based on their taste preferences and location.
Events range from large public events such as concerts and sporting events to small local events such as parties, yoga classes, art exhibitions and more.
Calendo’s iPhone app was released in April of this year, with recently launched language support for Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Russian, Italian, French, Spanish and German.
In an email interview with Digital News Asia (DNA), Ron Koren, head of marketing at Calendo, claimed that over the past four months, during the beta phase which saw participation from 2000 users, the number of events attended by an average user increased from four to 13 events per month (see image).
The technology that drives Calendo is touted to automatically learn and implement an individual’s taste preferences over time. The more a person uses Calendo, the more personalised it is.
The app’s real-time algorithm analyses information from multiple sources to determine 'top'events, including a person's past events, friends' events, the host, location and type of event (music, sports etc.).
It then computes an 'Event Score' which predicts the likelihood of a user's interest in a certain event.
When a user sees an event that she wants want to sign up for, RSVPs can be done directly from Calendo itself, saved to the user’s iOS calendar, with the option to invite others, or share the event on Twitter or Facebook.
For its business model, the team aims to generate revenue via affiliate marketing and premium services for event organisers.
The event-planning industry is estimated to spend US$500 billion annually worldwide. Mobile apps are increasingly becoming a source of affiliate marketing, and Calendo is positioned at the crossroads.
The team aims to help drive the market by bringing customers to the events, and gaining a commission for the increased business, similar to TripAdvisor bringing guests to hotels and airlines.
For event organisers, Calendo hopes to provide a platform for them to market their events in a new way, and to a new audience.
In a similar fashion to how Google enables a business to market its product to a target audience, an event organiser can market towards a specific audience, because Calendo will know which events people are likely to be interested in.
“As far as development goes, we are currently working on expanding our social network reach from just Facebook to including other networks such as Weibo and Renren,” said Koren.
The team also hopes to see significant global growth in the next six to 12 months with the release of additional language support.
Koren noted that a large challenge faced by the Calendo team is the continuing need to improve and program the app’s user interface to allow for the most simple, efficient user experience possible.
“Users love to use an app that is easy to use and understand, and so we constantly try to improve the way the user interacts with the app. We are motivated by the value that this service can provide to its users. It is a truly important tool for expanding a person's social life,” he added.
To find out more about Calendo, click here.