We have recently written a story on how the Baltic startup scene is becoming “boiling soup” with a lot of exciting ideas and investors keeping an eye on the region. The “soup” is now spiced up with even more great news. Yplan, founded by two Lithuanian startuppers in London, has raised $12 million to pump into their American expansion. The funding round is led by General Catalyst Partners, the US venture capital group behind Airbnb. Among other backers are Ashton Kutcher’s A-Grade Investments and BaltCap, the biggest VC in the Baltic countries. This isn’t the first funding round for Yplan. At the end of 2012 the company was backed up with €1.3 million from Wellington partners and Octopus Investment.
Yplan app allows spontaneous event-goers to buy last minute tickets to top events in London on a day they are taking place, often at a discount. Last minute events tickets app is an instant success story, given that it was launched on App Store only half a year ago and has already been downloaded more than 200,000 times.The app is monetized through a commission on any tickets sold. Although it is based on application platform, Yplan is not an app business, they consider themselves a marketing and sales channel for event organizers. Being application-first ensures users can secure last minute tickets on their smartphones as fast as possible.
It is interesting to note that the startup from Lithuania didn’t begin with the local market launch. Immidiately they went global starting with London, which alone provides a bigger market than all Baltic States together. Their current success shows how thinking global from the very beginning can rocket startups from the region. Yplan CEO Rytis Vitkauskas comments, “Just six months after launching we’ve taken London by storm and transformed Yplan from concept into an exciting mobile-only business that is going global.”
The founders will use the fresh investment to launch in the US by the end of the summer starting with New York version of the app. By the same time they plan to release an Android application. On the other side of the Atlantic competition in last minute ticketing services is tougher, so soon will see if the US smartphone users will give the app as warm welcome as its London fans.