Community owners (which here means events, parks and attractions owners) are constantly looking for ways to make the process of buying and validating tickets easier for their customers, while dealing with the day-to day issues like user experience, fraud, processing speed and full audit control. Searching for a solution to the tedious ticketing and access control systems on the market, Tiaan de Bruin and Carel Hoffman founded Plankton.
Late 2009, Plankton set out to solve some of these problems, whilst creating very unique benefits for their clients. Tiaan says that these needs first became apparent through a sister company that hosts the world renowned OppiKoppi festival for over 25 years now.
“We first licensed some software locally, then from Canada and eventually decided to develop our own ticketing system where we had full control and the flexibility to cater for our own events and the real-world issues we encountered. That’s where Plankton started and with our own events, we had the freedom to test new ideas and build features that you won’t see anywhere else”
Almost immediately some of their friends in the industry started using Plankton and it quickly became a fully standalone ticketing company catering for all music, sport and expo events.
The technology platform, which Plankton created, flows into several product features. Each feature has been tailored to give community owners valuable access and insight into their communities. This in turn grows brands and communities in a tight, symbiotic relationship.
In 2018 Plankton won the tender to supply a variant of its platform to SANParks which has been deployed at several major national parks, Table Mountain – Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Beach as well as West Coast National Park. The combination of additional control, a simplified point of sale and a fully connected system resulted in SANParks slightly growing attendance in comparison to the same period last year (against a backdrop of general lower tourism numbers). More crucially the system allowed very strong control and the implementation of new pricing strategies which led to the generation of several million rand of new revenue per month.
“We create new revenue streams for parks, without any cost incurred by them. We are really happy to be able to assist the parks in this manner. For me personally, conservation and parks have been a passionate area of concern, so every cent we can make for parks feels very good,” says Hoffmann.
Though Plankton was initially built for smaller events, today it powers big scale events and manages access control of popular entities in attractions, festivals, events, conferences and fundraisers, to name a few. Currently, Plankton offers its services to SANParks, The National Zoological Gardens of SA, Varsity Sport & Cup, KAMERS/Makers, Oppikoppi, Park Acoustics, Capital Craft Beer Festival and more.
From the start Carel & Tiaan aimed to do more meaningful things and to approach it from a completely new perspective.
“Back then Tiaan and I really wanted to change the existing ticketing rules,” says Hoffmann. “We taught ourselves and were street fighting for years just to stay ahead of the pack. I love the fact that Tiaan started off brand new with zero experience in tech or ticketing. Just a young laaitie with enthusiasm and the willingness, to learn. When we won the tender for the FIFA parking tickets, he sort of fell into this opportunity with us. Now he is at the head of a fully-fledged established tech company, which touches ticketing tech, fin tech, travel tech and much more.”
Plankton is part of the Metcalfe Corp (MCC) group of companies (http://www.metcalfecorp.com). MCC focuses on venture building and that is exactly what it has been doing in the background with Plankton. Hence the expansion and new business ideas. The Plankton solution offers several product offering streams, each tailored to give you valuable access and insight to your communities, growing your brand and community alike in a symbiotic relationship. Visit http://www.plankton.mobi.
For more information:
Tiaan de Bruin
061 503 6596