Like Foursquare and Instagram, YPlan is one of those rare sorts of apps that couldn’t exist on anything other than a smartphone. Just like Foursquare helps you find a place to eat while you’re on the go, YPlan shines when you’re out a Friday night looking for something to do.
“It really is laser-focused on the last 48 hours. That makes us unique,” YPlan CEO Rytis Vitkauskas told VentureBeat.
More, Vitkauskas argues that YPlan’s approach is pretty well-suited to the high-paced life of New Yorkers, who he says always seem to be planning things at the last-minute.
The concept is interesting, and considering that YPlan has already been installed on 300,000 iPhones after only nine months, clearly there’s demand for it. (That demand is also clear on the investor side as well: YPlan raised $12 million back in June and $1.7 million previously.)
While YPlan offers some obvious benefits to its users, the company’s value proposition to venues and artists is pretty significant as well. Vitkauskas says 90 percent of people who purchase event tickets through YPlan had no intention of going to those events before seeing the listing on the app.
In other words, YPlan is giving venues customers that they would not have had otherwise. This is good for just about everyone involved: Users find interesting new places to go, venues get customers, and YPlan takes a cut out of every transaction.
That leads to perhaps the greatest challenge for YPlan going forward: scaling. Because the app’s curated listings are based on neither crowdsourcing nor algorithms, YPlan’s operations require a whole lot of old-fashioned sales footwork — a reality Vitkauskas recognizes.
“Our event partner relations are more local, so you have to have local knowledge and experience. That’s the kind of thing we have to replicate on the ground,” Vitkauskas said.
So far, however, YPlan has been pretty prolific: Since last year, the company’s tiny three-man sales team has netted over 4000 events in London alone. So perhaps scaling won’t be an issue after all.
Sadly, YPlan is only available for iOS right now, though Vitkauskas says an Android should arrive within a month or so.