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London startup of the week: YPlan

Elliot Bentley
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To kick off another new feature for 2013, we speak to the co-founders of YPlan, whose minimal app hopes to revolutionise last-minute ticket sales.

Each week, we’ll be featuring the most exciting and innovative startups in JAXenter’s hometown of London. To nominate startups to be featured on the site, email elliotb@sandsmedia.com.

To kick things off, let’s start with YPlan, a company with an iPhone app of the same name for buying last-minute event tickets.

Having seen YPlan’s founders present at HNLondon (and having had our social network feeds plastered with their adverts), we spoke to co-founders Rytis Vitkauskas and Viktoras Jucikas to learn more about their startup.

What’s your elevator pitch?

YPlan is tonight’s going out app – get inspired, pay in 2 taps & go to a great event. We are proud to be the world’s first mobile-only event booking app. In the $50bn ticketed entertainment market, for event organizers YPlan is the only solution for true last-minute, last 24h sales, while for customers it’s a slick smartphone app.

How long has the company been going?

The company was founded, funded, and launched the product – YPlan – in 2012.

How many staff, and what do they do?

We are a team of 17 right now, and we come from Time Out, Songkick, Airbnb, GetTaxi, LastSecondTickets, See Tickets and other entertainment companies. Similar split between product team + ops is about half, the other half is sales and marketing.

Where are your offices based, and what are they like inside?

We’re based just off of Kings Cross in London, UK. We have a cool office space with sit-stand desks, personal nerf guns, an occasional angry bird, and we share a ping pong table with Artfinder. There’s a cool outdoor space as well for barbecues and other outdoor festivities (not that London provides a lot of chances for staying outdoors for long).

What technologies are you working with (client and server side)?

YPlan client is a native iOS app written in Objective-C. We want to provide our customers best possible experience and see native apps as the only way to achieve it with the current technology. On the server side we’re on Python / Django stack, deployed on Amazon AWS using Cloudformation. We’ve integrated DataCash API into our client/server to smooth out payment experience and make it native in the app. We’re using Git & GitHub for our source control, developing on feature branches and running test suite automatically upon master branch merge. We’re deploying changes and fixes for the backend pretty much on a daily basis, for the app we try to stick with 6-8 week release cycle.

What are the company’s plans for the future?

London is a first and very important city for us, where we already have a significant % of all iPhones on YPlan. Next is expansion in other large cities around the world, as well as bringing YPlan to Android and other platforms as soon as we’re able to build a beautiful app on those!

What are your three top tips for wannabe entrepreneurs?

1. MVP-test like crazy until you get so many validation points that it’s clear you’re on to something big – this will save you months or potentially years building a product that nobody wants. Use wireframes, landing pages, basic prototypes, or whatever it takes. When you do get the validation points you need, then go all in, and make it happen.

2. Talk to other entrepreneurs who have achieved what you’re hoping to. The knowledge that successful folks have is not written down in books.

3. Do a lot of homework in every step of your business – idea testing, fundraising, hiring, expansion etc.

YPlan is available to download now on the app store, and they’re hiring developers too.

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