Explara is adding social features to its platform to enable users to like and favorite events, and follow other user’s interest topics. Explara’s new user’s profile offers a variety of information about them such as events they are attending or intend to attend, topics they follow and communities they are member of. Users have an option to keep their profile private or public.
In the future, Explara will be integrating with Facebook’s open graph to help users leverage their social connections for event discovery. The company claims the change is designed to encourage users for active participation and community/social recommendations to discover events in a city.
The new design allows user to pick and follow topics they are interested in and to get an email notification (email as of now, followed by mobile soon).
Events on Explara now have a ‘Topic’ associated with it. Each of these topics has its own page such as Startups and Marathon.
YourStory interviewed Founder and CEO of Explara Santosh Panda via email. Here are the excerpts:
YS: Event listing is solved, but event discovery still remains broken. How is the new Explara feature solving discovery?
Santosh: Explara has launched a recommendation engine which recommends events based on a user's personalized topic interest. Example: Let's say, Abhash likes gaming, marathon and startups, Explara uses this interest topics to recommend matching events.
For now, we are starting with a focus to ask what an individual user's topics of interest and location are, and solving that by recommending matching events.
We will be soon be launching the 'Open Graph' (Facebook graph) with that the social relations and graph will further simplify event discovery. The social approach to discovery means user will be able to use social signals to find events that are most liked (fav) / matching interest.
To share an example of such patterns, Zomato uses Open Graph for food discovery. ProductHunt uses Twitter social graph for product discovery.
YS: And how does the new feature affect the bottomline for Explara and organizers?
Santosh: With the event discovery, Explara will increase the number of users who use Explara to discover events happening around. Therefore, Explara could market events to increases sales, hence the margins will be higher and the event organizers are always happy to offer more percentage fee if Explara adds to their ticket sales effort.
YS: Are there changes coming on the dashboard for the event organizer?
Santosh: For now, Explara is focussed on users’ engagement to generate their interest topics and then to send personalized notifications (mails to start with, mobile app coming first week of April).
We intend to engage with event organizers to avail this for promoting their events.
YS: Tell us about your growth.
Santosh: Explara has grown from ~7000 events in FY 2014 to ~32,000 events in FY 2015. The number of transactions has grown from 58,000 to 103,000. Explara is heading for a break-even in next quarter and profitable at EBIDTA level by year-end.
We have optimized a lean model with just 11 team members and our opex (cost) for FY 2015 has been less vs. FY 2014!
YS: Are you witnessing new user habits?
Santosh: We launched this solution on 9th Feb with an AB testing approach to analyse user behaviour. We are witnessing a huge momentum, and we already have 10,000 interest topics by ~3000 users signed up already for event discovery.
This will be further buttressed with our mobile app which is scheduled to go live on 1st week of April, helping users to find events on-the-go!
Explara has been AB testing the changes for last few weeks and claims 5000+ events shared by users and 10,000 personalization topics by users. This interest topics intent and social event discovery could further grow Explara’s ticket sales, helping event organizers to boost their sales.