Have you ever been hungry at a sporting event but didn’t want to deal with the lines? Well VenueNext has raised $9 million to roll out an app for your lazy ass. From mobile ordering to in-stadium directions, VenueNext is a technology platform that is working to change the way fans experience live venues.
VenueNext builds tools designed to help guests and venue operators easily manage live events. Each venue that licenses the VenueNext technology has its own guest-facing app, as well as a backend platform for the venue itself to use.
On the guest side, the company’s app focuses on improving five core experiences: access to the stadium (ticketing); eating and drinking; finding your way (parking and directions); loyalty programs; and exclusive, live, in-app content for fans at the event.
The venue-facing solution is more than just an app, and is what ties together those five core experiences. For example, VenueNext’s platform will connect to the venue’s food and retail POS systems, current e-ticketing solution, and even parking pass validation systems.
The company’s rollout at Levi’s Stadium, its first venue, delivered very strong usage statistics. The stadium saw an app adoption rate of 30 percent, compared to the industry average of less than five percent. Additionally, the stadium sold over $1.25 million of in-app food, beverage, and merchandise.
John Paul, CEO and Founder of VenueNext, said that the company plans to be in 30 different venues by the end of 2015.
While Paul wouldn’t give specific venues, Wyc Grousbeck, managing partner of Causeway Media Parters, is the current CEO and co-owner of the Boston Celtics. This connection could mean that TD Garden, home of the Celtics, is one of the next stadiums that VenueNext will work with.
Additional investors from the round also could lead to new strategic partnerships. Live Nation, owner of Ticketmaster, produces over 20,000 shows each year at different venues around the world. On the other hand, Twitter Ventures may be interested in VenueNext’s real-time mobile content, as Twitter is already working on providing a better real-time experience for users.