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Latest Bookya News
Apr 30, 2015
Follow @michaeltegos Ah, the life of a rock star. Playing your music on stage, basking in the adoration of the crowds, travelling the world… and spending half your week trying to book a venue for your next show? That’s definitely not rock’n’roll, and yet it’s something a lot of musicians have to put up with. It brings in the cash, after all; touring and live performances have been the major revenue source for musicians for a while now. Bookya is a startup based in Malaysia that hopes to streamline the venue booking process for live music shows so that musicians can focus on playing songs and wrecking hotel rooms – well, the less affluent stars will have to skip that second thing. Through a website and a mobile app, the company hopes to provide a type of social network where music artists and promoters can meet and connect. The problem Bookya seeks to address is the fractured and disorganized nature of live music bookings. Handshake deals, last-minute backouts or no-shows, disputes over fees; these are all problems that inexperienced and small-time artists have invariably faced at some point in their careers. “We want to create a standardized yet flexible booking process,” Bookya founder and CEO Samuel Klyk tells Tech in Asia. Bookya aims to provide a platform where this process can be completed in fewer steps and with added accountability for artists and promoters. To use the service, the artist or promoter is verified by Bookya via the use of email, social network accounts, and personal websites. The network’s social character, a kind of LinkedIn for the music touring industry, is also meant to help smaller artists with issues of discoverability and connections. World party The company has its eye on the global music stage, not aiming for one market in particular. Their hope is to create a massive database of live acts, promoters, agents, and eventually venue owners, all of which will be able to connect via the service to do business. According to Klyk, the service already contains one million artist profiles in its database, waiting for the respective artists to claim them. The database is also currently home to over 100,000 individual events. The team draws from publicly available data such as Foursquare listings, Facebook events and profiles, Soundcloud profiles, and so on, in order to provide up-to-date information regarding events, venues, and artists. Launching a global networking tool for the music industry from Malaysia might be tough, but the Bookya team is confident its combined expertise will help them pull through. “Tech and music comes together here,” Klyk says. Besides him, notable figures in the team include CTO Ruben Tan, who has MyTeksi (as GrabTaxi is known in Malaysia) in his resume, chief growth officer Eelke Arjaans, and co-founder and advisor Ingo Volkermann, a DJ and music producer with 20 years of experience in the music industry. “I think the industry network we have through our founding partner Ingo and the technical expertise of the rest of the founding team makes it a really strong combination,” points out Arjaans, who is in charge of reaching out to artists and agencies and getting them to try out Bookya’s platform. Until recently, the service had 200 beta testers, a combination of artists, promoters, and agents, obtained through Volkermann’s network of industry contacts. After launching its public beta, that number is expected to rise as the team travels the world to tout the service, stopping at events such as the International Music Summit in Ibiza, Spain and Midem in Cannes, France – perhaps the music industry’s top trade event. It’s good Bookya is willing to do the legwork. The music industry is a difficult mistress to please and has demonstrated on numerous occasions that it’s set in its ways. The team acknowledges this might be a problem for them going forward. “We are disrupting an industry and there are some people who don’t like this idea,” Klyk says. But it’s those very people Bookya needs to get on board in order to succeed. “We definitely don’t want to scare off the agencies and the agents. They still need that flexibility and they still need to be able to manage their artists. We don’t want to replace anyone in this industry, we just want to optimize it.” Forging connections For now, Bookya will be optimizing its platform, which will be evolving in the next few months to include functions for promoters and venue owners, the show booking process, and a website or social media button that can serve as an instant connection to the corresponding Bookya service. The team also envisions partnerships with online music ecosystem stalwarts. Bookya is supposed to be flexible enough to connect to eticket services, Spotify artist profiles, or Soundcloud profiles (to which the platform is already connected) as needed, to provide a well-rounded service. Between artists, venues, promoters, and agents, Bookya will be handling quite a lot of information. “Bookya is all about big data,” Klyk says. As things progress, the team will also be looking for data analysts to help make sense of what they have gathered and the best use for it. But they say the technology is already in place to handle the data that comes their way. “Scaling up is absolutely not a problem,” Klyk says. “We have been working on the backend for six months now.” Arjaans adds, “Bookya will rely on how we handle that data.” Bookya’s base will be shared between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur. Remaining in Malaysia is very important to the company, both in terms of the support team it can build there on the technical side, but also in contributing to the country’s startup and tech ecosystem. “We want to bring more people back,” Arjaans says. “We see a lot of brain drain here in Malaysia, which is a big problem for us.” The Bookya team is involved both in initiatives to help other startups get, well, started, and also campaigns to promote computer literacy in Malaysian children. “I started [to work with technology] when I was 16 years old,” Klyk adds. “We want to teach the youth here what is possible with web development, and on the other side bring people back to Malaysia.” Bookya is not alone in trying to connect music artists in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur’s Gigfairy is a similar service that has recently come onto the scene. Bookya’s edge seems to lie in its international goals from the outset, and also in its data-heavy approach. Bookya has already received US$500,000 in seed funding even before launching, so the way to center stage seems wide open. Editing by Steven Millward, top image by Allan Wan Bookya is the place that matches artists and promoters by using a unique location-based discovery tool, while creating a transparent and standardized booking process. Location
Bookya Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Bookya's latest funding round?
Bookya's latest funding round is Acquired.
Who are the investors of Bookya?
Investors of Bookya include LSL Gruppe and HV Capital.
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