Here's Your Chance to Invest in the Blockchain Technology Curbing Ticket Fraud
Can you guarantee that the tickets you buy to the next concert or event are real? Harold Hughes created Bandwagon to stop fans from spend...
There's simply nothing like being there. Whether that means sitting in the stands while your favorite team wins the championship as confetti rains down or standing in the crowd as you and your friends sing along to your favorite artist’s last song at a sell out concert. Unfortunately, due to the fact that so many people want to “be there”, ticket scalping and ticket fraud are problems that fans have to deal with all across the globe. This isn’t just about sports. Nearly 5 million people a year receive fake tickets to concerts, sporting events and theme parks...and that’s just domestically.
Ultimately, with fans having dozens of options to find tickets to their favorite live events, teams and artists need to find a way to verify the authenticity of tickets regardless of where fans purchase.
The future of ticketing isn’t exclusive partnerships or requiring fans to purchase through one specific app. The future of ticketing is increased distribution, allowing fans to buy tickets however and wherever they want. The future of ticketing is safe, simple, and secure.
Bandwagon is an analytics company that uses data, and our proprietary blockchain technology, to help teams and event organizers eliminate ticket fraud while increasing fan engagement.
We believe that blockchain is the right technology to address these issues, by allowing stakeholders to cooperate on a shared model of tickets and fans, with the confidence to know that the model is only ever accessed and modified in ways that meet agreed-upon business rules, enforced by smart contracts securely, mathematically, and cryptographically.
IBM’s Fabric platform allows us to roll our own blockchain with an industrial-grade and production-ready infrastructure. Since it is open source and under the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger umbrella, not only can we work closely with experts at IBM, we can also take advantage of a fast-moving community of developers, contributors, and users in the open source ecosystem. Some notes about Fabric:
Block-extension criteria is a based on "proof of properly executed contract", not "proof of work"
Stakeholders work together to validate proposed changes against pre-established smart contracts.
Faster and less wasteful than other blockchains like Ethereum.
For example, if we sign a professional sports team that has a venue that seats 75,000 fans per game and there are 8 home games in a season, we would expect that more than 50% of fans resell their tickets for each game. That means our revenues from this deal would be:
We want to be viewed in each case as a partner and not a competitor, supporting each link in the existing fan experience. Clients are incentivized to fill in missing pieces about a ticket or a fan because through participation they gain the complete fan picture, as built by the entire network. Our product allows stakeholders to set individual terms and restrictions on their shared data, as well as hold important “crown jewel” data in reserve.
We have evaluated that market both domestically and internationally and believe that as the adoption of mobile and RFID tickets continues to increase, our solution will become more and more powerful. Our projections for revenue focus solely on our success in the U.S. but we're already talking to customers in the Caribbean and the UAE.
With more than 1.1 Million tickets on our system, we are proud to be the largest commercially built ticketing blockchain in the world. While building our solution, we spent a lot of time learning about fans and protecting their data by aggregating it into data points like you see below. Through the identity management platform, we are able to gather fan data, aggregate it, categorize it by segment, and secure it.
Our work with our first customer, Sacramento State Athletics is a perfect example of how our solution can be used to solve multiple business challenges. The Athletic Department gained valuable insight into who was in their venue as well as what some of their preferences were. Here is some of what we learned together:
Our small, yet scrappy team is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina with a presence in Austin, Texas. From an ex-Googler to a military veteran to a cupcaker who paid their way through college by starting a meal delivery company (seriously), we value our differences because of the perspectives that they provide as we set out to solve a major problem with live events around the world.
The visionary and team captain behind BANDWAGON, Harold brings a wealth of experience from his time in sales and business development in corporate America and as a passionate sports fan. With an MBA and Bachelors degrees from Clemson University (and currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Stanford University), Harold has the knowledge, insights and experience to help our clients better understand and act upon the available data about their fans to create the ultimate fan experience.
We have been at this for over 2.5 years and we've lasted long enough to know that execution means everything. The decision for our founder, Harold, to go full-time in January 2016 was not an easy one. The idea of bootstrapping is challenging enough without factoring in a growing family but sure enough, we set our goals, followed our plans and executed - we cut the ribbon to launch our first product on August 16, 2016...and welcomed in the youngest member of our Bandwagon, Carter, on August 18th. "The world is often such a divisive and segregated place. We're building BANDWAGON to be a vehicle that brings fans together. We want the buying process to be safe, simple, and secure."
With over 25 years of experience, Arshad is the technology enthusiast who brings the BANDWAGON vision to life. He keeps all the behind the scenes gears running so that all our clients see is a clean, sleek and innovate product. With a computer science degree from Nebraska and experience as everything from an inventor to co-founder, Arshad rises to any challenge.
With years of experience leading large teams and overseeing accounts for clients worth millions at a Fortune 1000 company, Samotria has the background to put our mission into action and ensure that we deliver on our promise to our customers.
Director of Data & Architecture Solutions
The brains behind our proprietary blockchain technology, Dr. Hampton Smith is responsible for our secret sauce - the data. From his experience at Google and as an indie video game developer, Hampton knows his stuff and that helps our clients really know their fans.
Head of Sales & Biz Dev
As a former founder, Kim has a unique background that stems from technology conception/creation/deployment, wellness/talent & F500 business development which allows her to bring a completely unique set of eyes to BANDWAGON.
Director of Brand Strategy, General Counsel
La-Vaughnda helps mold the BANDWAGON image and fulfillment of our brand promise of ultimately enhancing the overall game day experience for our clients and ultimately the fans.
Our mission is to create better fan communities inside stadiums and arenas across the world. We believe that the key to elevating the fan experience is creating a collaborative environment with the event organizer and every potential distribution channel that fans will use to buy tickets to their events.
The smallest investment amount that BANDWAGON is accepting.
BANDWAGON needs to reach their minimum funding goal before
the deadline. If they don’t, all investments will be refunded.
The Crowd SAFE is an agreement for future equity in the startup,
meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
The Crowd SAFE is an agreement for future equity in the startup, meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
$25,000 – $1,070,000
BANDWAGON needs to raise
before the deadline. The maximum amount BANDWAGON is willing
to raise is $1.07M.
Traditional databases are great for supporting internal customers, but where the data meets the wider world businesses need to collaborate and innovate and that means working together to build a cohesive picture of fans, tickets, and events. Bandwagon’s open blockchain ecosystem allows stakeholders to come together and share the pieces of the puzzle that allow for deep insight into the fan experience. No need to build or maintain complex APIs and gateways--the data is the gateway.
Built on IBM’s open-source Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology, Bandwagon’s fan experience ecosystem supports private chains and network-enforced smart contracts. Share only the data you want to share, and only with the stakeholders with whom you want to share it. Embed smart contracts that ensure your data is only used in just the ways you want.
A private chain is a personal immutable ledger of transactions and observations that you control. Bandwagon administrates it, you share it with whomever you want and only in the ways you want. Strong elliptic-curve cryptography keeps everybody else out, and embedded smart contracts ensure that those you privilege to contribute do so appropriately.
With a traditional database, data must be manipulated by people and applications that you trust to update it correctly. A bad update and you have incorrect data, data inconsistency, or data loss. Opening a traditional database to partners means building and maintaining expensive APIs and gateways that enforce safe, consistent updates. And, without direct access to the data, multiple cooperating organizations end up maintaining independent fractured databases of the same (hopefully!) information. Smart contracts embed the rules of fair play directly into the data. Cooperating partners get direct access, but are unable to make updates unless they conform precisely to the pre-negotiated rules.
Bandwagon provides infrastructure that makes the fan experience blockchain ecosystem work, but partners can enter the network themselves, contributing their own infrastructure to form a decentralized network to manage their data and the data of their partners. More partners means more availability, more disaster-resistance, and more stakeholders with an interest in maintaining the integrity of the data.
Bandwagon is an analytics and identity management company that uses data to help sports teams and artists increase their revenue and eliminate ticket fraud by focusing on fan identity. Our small, yet scrappy team is headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina but we are fortunate to have presence in Austin, Texas and Sacramento, California thanks to our relationships with Capital Factory and Valley Extends, respectively. From an ex-Googler to a military veteran to a cupcaker who paid their way through college by starting a meal delivery company (seriously), we value our differences because of the perspectives that they provide as we set out to solve a major problem with live events around the world. Our mission is to create better fan communities inside stadiums and arenas across the world. We believe that the key to elevating the experience for these fans is personalization, specifically around the services that are offered and the marketing messages that are being delivered. Our focus began with college football and has now expanded to include other sports to curb the effect of seasonality, however, we are beginning to be approached for our solution to be utilized in other sports, live music arenas, and conventions.
The data that’s needed to move the state of the industry forward is siloed in the databases of many different stakeholders who have different needs and market drivers. The teams that issue the tickets know about their season ticket holders but not what happens to the tickets after they leave the distributer. The secondary markets know when a ticket is being sold but not where it was originated and equally important, if it’s being sold on another market at the same time. Marketers and vendors may know have an expected target audience, but may not who actually attended the game or who the ticket buyer brought with them.
From a lost opportunity and challenges perspective, we see our solution working for three parties: teams, ticket companies, and brands. For teams, personalization of marketing messages and services begins with identity. By knowing who is in the stadium regardless of the marketplace that the fan used to purchase their tickets, teams are able to curate the fan experience and deliver value that can’t be obtained at home. For ticket companies, identity is everything when it comes to solving the fraud problem. By having a clear audit trail of authenticity, ticket companies can now allow fans to list tickets with certainty of their origin, ownership, and restrictions. As for brands, the biggest opportunity is the ability to do lower customer acquisition costs by using enriched data of fans based on the preferences that they display in aggregate or down to the individual fan level.
We believe that blockchain is the right technology to address these issues, by allowing stakeholders to cooperate on a shared model of tickets and fans, with the confidence to know that the model is only ever accessed and modified in ways that meet agreed-upon business rules, enforced by smart contracts securely, mathematically, and cryptographically. We believe that under this scheme, all stakeholders are properly incentivized to participate in data-sharing, in a way that opens new markets and new opportunities to capture fan engagement and provide enjoyment and a satisfying fan experience.
We believe our blockchain solution is a core part of our business and thus wanted to avoid becoming tenants on someone else’s chain. This ruled out the Bitcoin Blockchain and solutions like Ethereum early on. At the same time, we see our primary business value not as the providers of a blockchain, but as B2B facilitators, market designers, and consumer data analysts. Our blockchain is an important part of that infrastructure, but it is not itself our product, and so we were interested in exploring chain technologies that eschewed wasteful mining and proof of work and instead focussed on permitting flexible and dynamic smart business contracts.
IBM’s Fabric platform allows us to roll our own blockchain with an industrial-grade and production-ready infrastructure. Since it is open source and under the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger umbrella, not only can we work closely with experts at IBM, we can also take advantage of a fast-moving community of developers, contributors, and users in the open source ecosystem. Fabric’s block-extension criteria is based not on proof of work, but rather on what we think of as “proof of properly executed contract” in which stakeholders work together to validate proposed changes against pre-established smart contracts. This is both faster and less wasteful than other schemes, and appropriate for our relatively stable pool of stakeholders.
The ability to participate in building a fuller profile of fans and a better picture of their customers, marketplaces, and stadiums.
Our goal is to create a product that offers direct value to each stakeholder. We want to be viewed in each case as a partner and not a competitor, supporting each link in the existing fan experience. Clients are incentivized to fill in missing dots about a ticket or a fan because through participation they gain the complete fan picture, as built by the entire network. Our product allows stakeholders to set individual terms and restrictions on their shared data, as well as hold important “crown jewel” data in reserve.
We offer our clients the ability to participate in our blockchain as full peers, running their own instance of our software and thus maintaining full control over their identity and data end-to-end, or to interface with the existing Fabric network either programmatically through our API, or using our easy-to-use point and click frontend.
2018 is all about increasing our partnerships and use cases to enrich the fan experience. Whether we’re partnering with one of the world’s largest point of sale companies or integrating with an industry leading RFID ticketing company, we’re focused on unlocking the value of in-stadium/in-arena engagement and delivering services both on and offline. As we prepare for our next round of funding, we are actively seeking opportunities to work with teams to help solve their pain points that come from poorly managed database solutions.
Blockchain is a distributed technology that makes it possible for stakeholders to share a collaborative set of data, secure in the knowledge that no matter who serves their data, the data is being served correctly. Mathematical and cryptographic techniques combine to ensure that all participants obey the rules of fair play that are baked into the chain from its inception.
With a regular database, a single actor is in charge of holding, securing, and serving the data. Sometimes you host your own database, but many times you pay a third party to host it on your behalf. To interact with that data in a way that is secure and consistent, elaborate gateways and web services are required to manage permissions and data integrity. With Blockchain, the rules of fair play are baked in and multiple actors can access and serve the data, with all parties assured that permissions are respected and data integrity is guaranteed.
Our blockchain solution is built on the IBM Hyperledger Fabric framework.
Unlike systems that build on Ethereum or Bitcoin’s existing blockchains, Bandwagon is not a tenant of another organization’s chain. We own our own technology and run our own chain. As a result of that freedom, we were able to design a technology tailor-made to our use-case rather than letting the tech dictate our business process. Our Hyperledger-Fabric-based blockchain eschews wasteful mining and elaborate cryptocurrency schemes in favor of cooperating business partners collaborating on a chain for the direct benefits it provides.
We offer our clients the ability to participate in our blockchain as full peers, running their own instance of our software and thus maintaining full control over their identity and data end-to-end, or to interface with the existing Fabric network either programmatically through our API, or using our easy-to-use point and click front-end.
Meet the Drapers Season 2 Episode 4
Harold Hughes: Hey, I'm Harold. I'm the founder and CEO of Bandwagon. We're building this company so that fans everywhere, whether it's sports or concerts no matter where they bought their tickets, can be real and authentic. I know what it's like to spend $100 and not be able to get into the game. We want to preserve that fan experience. Uniquely, sports bring everyone together and so that's something that's really inspired me to connect in that similar way with friends and family as we continue to build this. And so building this company from Greenville, South Carolina and really just looking at my journey here from being the son of an immigrant, Jamaican American family, I want the Drapers to see an entrepreneur who's willing to run through a wall and do everything they can to overcome obstacles and get to this point.
Tim Draper: Welcome to Meet the Drapers. Give us your pitch.
Harold Hughes: Thank y'all for having me. I'm Harold Hughes and I'm the founder and CEO of Bandwagon. But before that, I'm a sports fan. And like most sports fans this year, I was watching the NBA Finals, watching the Golden State Warriors take home their third title in four years. But most Golden State fans really wish they could have been in the arena with their team to see them win that title. With average ticket prices of over $1,700 to get in, fans who were hopeful were going to have to try and find a deal. And that's where the problem at hand.
Harold Hughes: Dozens and hundreds of fans were denied at the gate for this year's NBA Finals because, unbeknownst to them, their tickets were fake. And this isn't just a US thing. Just in May of this year, Barcelona announced a $1.8 million ticket scam. This is happening in headlines from ticketed live events like concerts all the way down to sports. And so what we've been able to do is harness the power of the blockchain to utilize the very core technology to make the experience better for fans. So it's safer because we're using cryptographic security. Our implementation is super simple so teams don't have to go through the headache of pitching this and making it tough on their team. And last, we're making it secure.
Harold Hughes: We view the future of this as SAAS, Stadium as a Service. Giving the fans the ultimate experience and that's why we're using technology like blockchain to make that happen. So I'd like to invite you all to jump on the bandwagon with us.
Tim Draper: Terrific. A couple of things, one is what if Stub Hub just decided to put the blockchain on all those tickets or Ticket Master or whoever?
Harold Hughes: Definitely. When we think about ticketing, it's a really siloed industry. You think about the Stub Hubs and the Ticket Masters of the world, these are true competitors. And so the idea of one of those major companies creating their own blockchain and getting their competitors to participate is a lot more challenging than ...
Tim Draper: Oh I see. So you can be Geneva. You can be the safe spot everybody gets to use.
Harold Hughes: Absolutely. Blockchain on it's basis is a ledger. What we're using is a ledger that ties multiple ticket companies together so that they all are able to show that customer who's buying that this is a real ticket every single time.
Tim Draper: So there's no token here?
Harold Hughes: No tokens.
Tim Draper: Technology used in Bitcoin was the blockchain. And the blockchain keeps a perfect ledger of every single debit and credit that goes through. It also can take care of all data. Any kind of data, it can verify that data. This is about making sure all those tickets are real and fair.
Harold Hughes: Correct. So in that ...
Tim Draper: Then why do you have more fan engagement and food and beverage sales and all that stuff? How do you make money that way?
Harold Hughes: Right, so the core of what we do is focus on identity. We want teams to know who is in the stadium on the day of the event. Also concert artists and so on. So there's no real way for you to say a followup for, if I buy a ticket on the secondary market and the team doesn't know I'm there, I don't get the follow up, thanks for coming, here's half off the next game. I don't get the opportunity to save 10% on merchandise because the team won. There's a huge disconnected between teams and the fans who are actually sitting there on the day of the event. But we also know there's scalpers and there's brokers and there's people who are making a lot of money taking advantage of people.
Harold Hughes: With our technology we're actually using the ledger to prove the tickets are real, to make sure that the person who's reselling them on these secondary sites is the actual owner, and then third there's no restrictions in the ability to transfer. That allows teams to be able to increase fan engagement. That allows them to monetize extra food and beverage because in that case, I'd say I want to target the people sitting in section 113 for these last 100 hot dogs I have with four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Now I can message them directly. Today that can't really happen because fans are showing up to the arena from dozens of different places.
Tim Draper: You can also reach all those people outside of the arena, right?
Harold Hughes: Absolutely.
Tim Draper: So after they've been, you have their identity, you have their name and you can say, "Hey, there's another game coming up, if you want to go buy ..."
Harold Hughes: Absolutely. Yes, that's exactly how we do it. So we want to focus on creating that manifest and so we're using a permissioned blockchain. It's not like cryptocurrencies or Bitcoin or Ethereum. It's a permissioned blockchain which allows us to say this ticket company is part of the ecosystem, this ticket company is part of the ecosystem and they're all able to verify that this is actually a real transaction and this person owns this.
Tim Draper: I mean, you need to get Stub Hub and Ticket Master and all of them to say, "Yeah, we're gonna go."
Harold Hughes: Absolutely.
Tim Draper: How do you get them to do it without turning the screws on you regularly?
Harold Hughes: The number one thing we're finding is that there's a $2.3 billion fraud problem in the US from ticketing. Most of that is eaten by Stub Hub and Ticket Master because they're so large. And so for us, we're saying in exchange for making this problem go away for you, we want to help encourage more fans to come to the game. That's what the big value is.
Tim Draper: And how do you charge?
Harold Hughes: We charge a toll for every time a ticket moves through the ecosystem. So think 10 or 20 cents every time a ticket moves through the ecosystem. But we also sign a one time licensing fee to the team.
Harold Hughes: Let's say we start with our first customer, Sacramento State. Sacramento State would pay us somewhere between $10-$100,000 based on the size of their stadium. And then when they have multiple ticket companies, let's say Ticket Master, Stub Hub or whoever, any time a ticket's resold and moved through that ecosystem, we take 10 cents from those ticket companies.
Tim Draper: But you don't get any money from food and beverage or merchandise?
Harold Hughes: Not yet but we do think that we'll be able to build that out down the road.
Bill Draper: How far along are you in dollars and cents right now?
Harold Hughes: Yeah so we have two customers and we have over $100,000 in revenue in the last 18 months. Our blockchain is fully up and running. We have 558,000 tickets on our blockchain so we're able to validate those as they move through the ecosystem and we have a team that's ready to build.
Bill Draper: But that's not very much related to all you're doing. What's next year? What are you projecting?
Harold Hughes: We've projected next year we'll be closer to $1.2 million. With the licenses that we're getting, in the beginning was really investing deeply into the tech.
Bill Draper: What are your costs? Out of a million two revenue next year, what do you expect?
Harold Hughes: Our costs should be just north of $400,000.
Bill Draper: So it's really high margin?
Harold Hughes: Yeah. Huge high margin business because we're putting the investment into the software to make it super simple for folks.
Bill Draper: Who else is on your team?
Harold Hughes: We have a CTO who's based in the Bay Area, I'm the CEO and went to Clemson University. I studied economics and political science. And our COO is our rockstar from the sales and technology space. We both grew up in the distribution space. So asset management and barcoding and RFID. We're approaching ticketing from an asset standpoint. We want to be able to track it from it's inception to delivery and consumption. We've added some awesome advisors like Orlando Jones, entertainer and tech investor and most recently Melly Price who exited a company called Front Gate to Live Nation. So now we're building those pillars into our team and we're looking for that next step.
Tim Draper: I once got a fake ticket. What was great about it was they saw that it was a fake ticket and they saw that I had paid for the fake ticket, a lot of money. And they said, "Well, it's okay." They kind of let it happen. It would have been better to know for sure if that was a real ticket.
Harold Hughes: Yeah we think validity is super important when it comes to this stuff and so we want to prevent that. We want more families and more friends to have better experiences at live events. And having those tickets be authentic is one piece. Being able to do great touchpoints with fan engagement and marketing before, during and after the event we think changes everything.
Tim Draper: Well thank you very much for coming in to meet the Drapers.
Harold Hughes: Thank you very much. Have a good one.
Tim Draper: All right.
Harold Hughes: It's so awesome to be here with the Drapers, a legendary Silicon Valley family to see how they started and being able to create generational impact, that's what I want to be able to do for my family. I love the fact that we're given the opportunity for viewers to get in on crowd equity because this is gonna give them an opportunity to change their generation and I'm loving that we're going to be one of those platforms that they can consider.
Tim Draper: So we'll see what our judges thought of Bandwagon. Polly, what did you think of Bandwagon?
Polly: I liked the idea of using the blockchain part. If this does expand into the concert arena, I know that when Matt and Alex, who were my sons who are rock stars, there was one concert in New Orleans where they had sold fake tickets and there were a lot of little girls crying. It's heart wrenching if it's something that you really cared about. But he wants people ...
Bill Draper: The fact that he knows how to reach them later, I think is probably the most important part.
Polly: Is a really big deal, yeah.
Tim Draper: Yeah that he ends up with everybody's identity.
Polly: That brings me to the one thing that bothers me, too, and that's the fear grabbing people's identity. I know that they'd be willing, there's just something about that.
Tim Draper: Yeah but if you're a Matt and Alex fan, your kids are probably not gonna tell you when their next concert is. The benefit of giving a company your data is that you get better information yourself. And I don't know how he's going to get all of those people signed up, Stub Hub and Ticket Master.
Bill Draper: A couple of big ones.
Tim Draper: But the big ones are the hardest to get.
Bill Draper: That's right. And they're going to say, "What's in it for us?"
Tim Draper: So he'll have to start small and build up. I should have asked him about that.
Polly: Well what's in it for them is they're going to save a billion dollars worth of fraudulent tickets because they're the ones that have to eat the cost.
Bill Draper: If there's really that much fraud.
Tim Draper: Well let's go to our Oracle. Let's see what vibes the crystal ball sends us about Bandwagon. Are we going to get on the Bandwagon? Or are we going to be off the Bandwagon. Okay, everybody got it?
Tim Draper: You can do this at home too, thumb's up, thumb's down, thumb's all around. Ready? Thumb's up, thumb's down, thumb's all around. Interesting. We had sort of a very interesting mix this time.
Polly: We did.
Tim Draper: My thumb is sort of three quarters.
Polly: Can you do that?
Tim Draper: I just did. So it's up to you, audience. You like that guy and you want to go back him, you can do it. You can go to meetthedrapers.com and you can invest.
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