We take 5 minutes to catch up with one of our valued customers, Fatsoma.
We chat with founder Ben Taylor, founder of Fatsoma to talk about their innovative online ticketing solution and to see how crowdfunding with Seedrs is currently helping to expand the business.
With over 10,000 event promoters and 1.9 million members, Fatsoma has an interesting story to tell…
Ben, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Can you sum up Fatsoma in 10 words or less?
We’re a bold, innovative online event ticketing platform.
How do you innovate in the world of events?
We basically enable event organisers to maximise their ticket sales online by providing the platform and marketing tools they need to reach and sell to their audience. We also complete that ticket sale on behalf of the event organiser.
What’s this we hear about Fatsoma paying commission? We’ve got a few days until payday in here.
So imagine you love a certain event or brand on Fatsoma, you can sign up as a rep on behalf of the event organiser. You will promote the event to your network on social media or wherever works for you and you earn commission from each ticket sale.
It’s win-win for event lovers! So, are the founders event lovers?
Absolutely. When we first founded Fatsoma, the three of us were young and we enjoyed club nights, plus the business was nightlife focused. As we, as individuals, progressed, our interests and passions naturally evolved. In a way, the business growth matches that evolution.
We have organisers selling tickets to events in every sector, from tech events to football clubs to business networking events, just to name a few.
From a customer side, we understand the genuine passion people have towards events and we recognise people aren’t one-dimensional. So we wanted to provide people with a platform to easily find and purchase tickets to events of interest.
As your loyal online payments partner, we enable your online ticket sales; what role does Realex play in your success?
We want to give our event organisers and customers a highly secure and reliable payment solution. We’ve been working with Realex for a while now, and you guys are always readily available to assist whenever we need.
We are releasing a brand new mobile app payment library shortly, did we hear that you have a mobile app? Tell us about it.
Well, we actually have two mobile apps, one for customers and the other for event organisers.
Customers can use the Fatsoma app to discover events near them or from event organisers they follow, purchase tickets, and even check-in at the event with their mobile ticket. We were one of the first companies to scan tickets on your phone rather than paper.
The app for promoters is called Fatsoma Scan. It allows event organisers to check people into an event either by checking them in manually or by scanning the customer’s mobile ticket or their paper ticket. It is also an excellent tool to monitor attendance at an event.
You are currently on Seedrs to raise new investment for the business. Tell us about this round of investment – how is it going so far and what are your plans to scale the business?
It’s an exciting time for us. We looked at various options for this round of investment, and we felt that a crowdfunding campaign fits well with the company as we are a social-based platform and crowdfunding pulls from communities. This is the first time we sought investment in this way, and so far we achieved 30% of funding in the first week.
We are excited to have many of our partners, clients and business associates participate in the campaign, and the level of investment pledged is inspiring. It shows a level of trust and confidence in the direction Fatsoma is going. The funds raised will go towards further developing our platform, concentrating on features, optimisation for partners and resellers.
How long will this crowdfunding campaign last on Seedrs?
The crowdfunding campaign will be on Seedrs for another eight weeks.
You’re based in Manchester at the moment; any plans to scale the business outside of the UK?
Absolutely. Currently, about 80% of our business is in the UK, and we have a presence in Canada and Hong Kong. We also have partners that have a massive global influence. We definitely plan to expand globally. It’s only a matter of time until Fatsoma has an international reach.
You have an unusual business name; where did it come from?
Well, it comes from two elements. When Paul, Chris and I decided to join forces and start Fatsoma, our temporary “office” was a café in Manchester called Fat Cat Café.
Also, I just finished reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a dystopian novel about a future where everyone has an engineered place in society and where people took a drug called Soma that enabled them to escape the highly-structured world.
One of the things all three of us have in common is our entrepreneurial spirit. There is nothing wrong with working for a large corporation but it wasn’t for us. We wanted to pursue our “Soma.”
When it came to deciding on a name for our new business we wanted a link to that idea of escaping the “rat race” or norm so we combined Soma with the place where we first met- alas Fatsoma.
Speaking of escaping the rat race, what’s the favourite event you’ve attended in the past 12 months?
The team are always out attending exciting events that they find on Fatsoma. We even have a team member who is part of a popular band in Manchester that uses our platform to sell tickets.
We also use it for our own work socials. It’s cool that everyone has varied interests and they are able to find events to attend as a team or with their respective friends and family.