Whether you’re a high school student or an NFL team owner, everybody texts. ReplyBuy, a finalist in the 1st and Future competition, wants to use the text message to get you tickets for sporting events. 1st and Future is a sports-centric startup competition produced as a joint effort between the NFL, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and TechCrunch.
The current version of ReplyBuy works like this — the company sends a text message to all San Francisco 49ers fans; whoever replies “Buy Now” the fastest gets the tickets. Today, the company is making the platform immensely more useful with the launch of ReplyBuy.ai.
Indeed, ReplyBuy is introducing artificial intelligence to the sports and entertainment vertical. Dubbed ReplyBuy.ai, the AI is a VIP concierge service that will make it even easier for users to get their hands on tickets to major events.
Instead of just receiving text messages when tickets are available, users will now be able to send a text message with a request to buy tickets for whichever event they want; the chatbot will ask a few follow-up questions, like “how many tickets do you want?” and “what’s your price range.” From there, it will automatically buy tickets for you and deliver them instantly via text.
ReplyBuy’s client list includes several top NFL, NBA, NHL and MLS teams using the service, as well as several major universities like UCLA and the University of Arizona. You can check out the full roster of current clients on the company’s website.
ReplyBuy plans to enhance the ReplyBuy.ai experience so it does more than just buy tickets. CEO Josh Manley also tells TechCrunch that in the future, ReplyBuy.ai will be able to be leveraged not only through SMS, but can also be integrated into apps with chat capability and messaging based services like iMessage and Facebook Messenger, along with IoT devices like Amazon Echo and others.
Since the company was founded in 2011, they’ve raised $2.65M. The company was recently nominated for the “Best in Mobile Fan Experience” award held by the Sports Business Awards, and also for the “Move to Mobile” and “Product Innovation” categories at the Ticketing Technology Awards.
We’re thrilled to see former TechCrunch event alums making splashes in their respective industries, and we can’t wait to see what the next batch of startups have in store for us in the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt London 2016. Applications to participate in the Battlefield are open now through October 5, so as long as your company meets the eligibility criteria, you can apply here to participate in the Battlefield.
Disrupt London 2016 takes place December 5-6 at London’s Copper Box Arena. We can’t wait to see all you fabulous innovators, investors and tech enthusiasts at the show.