Launched as an event listing, promotion and ticketing platform, Hyderabad-based Meraevents.com is now connecting organisers, delegates, and service providers in its endeavour to become a one-point solution for the events and trade fair industry. Besides introduction of new features and services, the company saw multifold growth in terms of people buying tickets and the number of listings on the website in 2013.
"While in 2012 we saw about 1,000 people buying tickets from our website, this number doubled in the last year. In fact, we had sold Rs 1.4 crore worth of tickets for the 'new year' itself with 200 listed events," said Naidu Darapaneni, founder and CEO of Versant Online Solutions Pvt Ltd, the company behind Meraevents.com.
How is it faring?
It has sold over 10,000 tickets in the last two years, which translated to about Rs 3.6 crore in revenues. Last year, the company launched MoozUpLite, which replaced the event paper agenda with a detailed mobile application. It also launched MoozUp, a web app that enables every attendee to interact, share and access event information before, during and after the event. The application also offers features like meeting scheduler, messaging, calendar, photo, video and document sharing.
The company has also developed Venues.meraevents.com to help people in finding the right venue in their preferred city and location. While the section is live with data of 3,000 venues as of now, the company is planning a proper launch in April 2013 with 10,000 venues. In addition, it is launching 'DigiBroc', a digital brochure for the exhibition and trade fair industry, which will enable visitors at exhibition stalls to scan QR codes and access an electronic copy of the brochure, rather than picking up a physical copy.
Fundraising and global expansion
A mostly bootstrapped company—except a seed capital of $200,000 it had raised from friends and family in the US in 2009—Meraevents.com is raising venture capital between $2 and $5 million to take its event promotion and ticket-selling platform to global markets. "We are looking to expand in the Middle East and eventually the entire Asia," says Naidu.
With a team size of 80 employees, Meraevents.com is now looking to do Rs 50 crore in revenues in FY2014. "The event industry is worth Rs 5,000 crore. Presently, we are looking at a business of 1 per cent of the entire events market in the country in this year," said Naidu. He wants Meraevents.com to be largely-recognised all over the country, and for a company that is less than point one per cent of the market as of now, that is definitely a bold claim â€“ but not an impossible one.
Explara.com, another event ticketing and discovery site run by Pune-based Signature Technologies Pvt Ltd, is also close to raising its first round of VC funding in the range of $2-3 million, VC Circle had earlier reported. Started in 2009, Explara has in place a cloud-hosted event solutions platform and focuses on four service areas—event ticketing/registration, payment processing (online, retail and cash on delivery), event marketing and logistics. The company has operations in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi and has served event organisers from India, the US, the UK, South Africa, Singapore and Philippines.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)