Kenya’s Tiko.co.ke Launches To Make SMS Ticketing & Event Management Possible

tiko2Tiko, means ticket in Nairobi slang. The new platform is set to enable event organizers create and manage events using  mobile money and SMS. Tiko allows event organizers to send out SMS invitations to attendees and they can then book a place using mobile money and get SMS tickets straight to their phones.

Founded February 20 this year by Allan Juma and Frank Deya, also working on a series of  other ICT Kenya, Tiko was inspired by a need the founders felt wasn’t met.

“At one point we actually needed to buy tickets to a social event happening in Nairobi, then we realized that getting to where the tickets were being sold was going to take too long and we’d eventually miss out on the advance ticket offer; it was disappointing,” said Deya to TechMoran.

“So we thought, what if it was possible for us to buy the tickets right there and then! That’s what Tiko does.”

Tiko works simply.

Event organizers simply create event accounts on the website www.tiko.co.ke , from there they’re able to monitor in real time the ticket sales made via the various mobile money services.

“We assign every event with a unique payment account number that users utilize when buying the tickets. After payments, the user will receive a text message indicating the event details and ticket number.  The SMS ticket is what will be used to allow access at the event. Our attendants simply verify through the online system,” said Deya.

So far Tiko has managed a dozen events including theatre plays, concerts and a sporting event and  make their cut by direct earnings from commissions placed on each ticket sold. Tiko charges between 6% to 10% commission on each ticket sold through its platform. Tiko’s second revenue source is direct earnings from cost of each invitation sent by the event organizer.

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According to Deya, the main challenge has been barriers to entry into the market however, they managed to tackle this by identifying and targeting the lower segment of the market first since it was more receptive to the idea.

tiko1Competing with major event ticketing players in the Kenyan market and especially online ticketing platforms, Tiko says their SMS based ticketing service helps them stand out from the rest, as the only provider of SMS tickets. They are also working on being the mobile first ticket providers in the market and take advantage of the over 30 million mobile phone subscriptions in Kenya.

Speaking to TechMoran, Deya said being mobile is great. “Other services cannot be accessed on mobile. We have taken this unique advantage and coupled with proper research conducted previously, we have developed a product that is already gaining significant traction.”

“We’re currently developing an android app that will show a listing of the events with their specific details and will also enable purchase of the tickets,” Deya added.

Bootstrapping at the moment, Tiko aims to be service at least 80% of all events in Kenya in two years. However, Kenya’s event’s ticketing industry players aren’t sleeping, heavyweight Ticketsasa.com, has been serving event goers in Kenya for a long period now and is the leading go to place for tickets in Kenya. Other players like TicketsKenya, PataTicket, and several other inactive portals like Kenyaticketshop.com are all competing for a clientele.

Check out Tiko.co.ke and let us know what you think. Are they able to be market leaders in two years? What do they need to change on their platform? Or what are they doing wrong that can hinder them from being operational in two years?

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