Hapz raises more than US$500,000 in seed funding
By Anushia Kandasivam August 3, 2017
- Enables users to discover, book and buy experiences
- New market and machine learning draws investors
SINGAPORE-based event-tech platform Hapz announced today that is has raised seed funding of SG$680,000 (US$500,881) from Cocoon Capital, SPH Media Fund, Quest Ventures, TinkBig Venture and an angel investor.
Hapz is an end-to-end events platform that enables users to discover and book diverse Singapore experiences in a single place at the best available price. Hapz claims to be the first platform in Southeast Asia to curate events from across multiple verticals and provide end-to-end services to its customers, such as event discovery ticket sales, exclusive deals and customer support.
The platform also provides event organisers with real-time insights on demographics, pricing data and how they compare to other events.
Besides services to users, Hapz also partners with corporates such as General Electric in Singapore to provide its services as part of the corporate’s employee benefits programme.
According to co-founder and chief operating officer Kendrick Wong, the events platform market being new, and there being no existing player in Southeast Asia who offer cross-border booking across multiple event verticals, makes Hapz attractive to investors.
“We believe that Hapz has the potential to build the number one experience booking platform in Asia. The Hapz team is executing at lightning speed and Cocoon Capital is very proud to join their journey,” says Cocoon Capital’s managing partner Michael Blakey.
Hapz launched in May this year, and in the last two months has curated numerous events in Singapore, including some of the country’s biggest events, such as Ultra Singapore and Dreamworks Day Asia. It currently has more than 8,500 members in Singapore.
The aim of the platform is to aggregate the top hundred events in Singapore, saving its users time on research and enabling easy comparison and efficient planning. Hapz employs a proprietary pricing system that allows customers to decide the price they are willing to pay for an event that interests them. The system decides on an acceptable price range for each event.
The system also learns as more users interact with different events on the platform, allowing it to better understand user preferences and push relevant events and deals to them.
“Hapz leverages on machine learning to generate real time insights about our customers’ choices and purchase behaviour. Our data driven approach helps us deliver the most relevant content to our customers. It also generates valuable insights for event organisers that can be used to plan and budget for future events,” explains co-founder and chief technical officer Lai Xin Chu.
Wong adds that this machine learning was another factor that drew investors to Hapz.
Wong says that though customers are able to buy tickets on the platform, Hapz’s main focus is to ensure that customers gain access to events that are the most relevant to them at an affordable price. “We want to ensure customers have the best experience on Hapz, from finding an event they are passionate about to providing customer support in case they face a glitch.”
Hapz plans to use this round of funding to grow the team and build partnerships with merchants and event organisers across verticals and through the region. “We are looking very closely at neighbouring countries in the Southeast Asian region, though we have yet to pick the exact country yet. Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines are strong contenders,” reveals Wong.
Because experiences can be localised, the ideal plan is for Hapz to have a team on the ground in each country, though this is dependent on the verticals that the platform targets in each country.
Instead of seeing other event platforms as competition, Wong says that Hapz sees many opportunities for collaboration. “We may have access to certain experiences that they currently do not have. We do hope to work together with them to grow the live entertainment industry with a more open system.”
The founders expect the next funding round to be some time next year.
Hapz takes a portion of the revenue generated from the tickets sold on the platform. Wong says Hapz is revenue-generating but declined to reveal what the revenue targets are. “We are happy with our user traction and will continue to focus on building a great user experience.”
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