Philippines-based Ticket2Me shows that passion is the ticket to success
3 minute read
Turning passion into a business
Ticket2Me is an event ticketing platform. The company started in Manila, Philippines and had events running in 11 different cities around the Philippines before they decided to try for regional expansion and move to Singapore.
The founder of Ticket2Me, Darwin Mariano, shares his journey on how he got into this business.
“I started ticketing as a side hustle in 1999. I started the business because my friends and I are big fans of theatre and live performances; it was expensive to purchase tickets on a student allowance, so we decided to buy tickets in bulk to get a discounted price. Then we would resell the ones we didn’t use at face value.”
When asked what made him choose the event industry, Darwin explains, “It was a way to stay in touch with my community. I am a huge fan of theatre and selling was my strong point.”
He adds on, “After college, I started working in the corporate industry but I knew I would go back and do what I was passionate about. In 2011, I started producing shows, and it just grew bigger and bigger from then on.”
Finding a trusted partner
It was in 2017 that Darwin shifted the business from a side-hustle in the Philippines and started Ticket2Me, making it Southeast Asia’s first blockchain-enabled platform where people can safely and efficiently sell, find, and buy tickets to all kinds of events. He then moved to Singapore in 2018 as a next step to grow the business.
Knowing that you needed a trusted partner to look after your business when entering a new market, Darwin turned online for a solution.
“We spoke to another company first to and intended to take on their services, but after going through Sleek’s website and reading their reviews, I really felt like Sleek was top of the list for me.”
Although the technology aspect was a factor in choosing Sleek, Darwin says, “I wanted a human touch for reassurance, so I reached out through email and spoke to someone in the incorporation team—Julius. He was very helpful. That conversation with him really reinforced me to go to Sleek for their services.”
He also felt in good hands during the incorporation process. “Using Sleek saved me a lot of effort and stress. I spoke to Aditi [one of Sleek’s corporate secretaries] and she was the backbone to our whole registration process. She kept chasing me to complete whatever requirements that were needed!”
Compliance can be a serious topic, but having warm relationships with the team can make the experience a lot more human.
“The last time we visited the office to open a bank account, I finally got to meet Julius in person, and even met Oriane [Sleek’s Chief Compliance Officer]. They were both very open and friendly. I was really happy!”
Spreading the good word
When asked whether or not he would recommend Sleek’s services to others, Darwin said, “Of course! A few of my partners are already introducing Sleek to friends wanting to up a business in Singapore.”
Darwin adds, “For entrepreneurs and startup companies, Sleek’s services are really a godsend. It allows you to focus on what you do best instead of exhausting your resources on things like the whole incorporation process.”
Where to next for Ticket2Me
With Ticket2Me going from strength to strength in the Philippines (and recently breaking 5 million in ticket sales), Darwin is now looking to learn more about the market in Singapore and find partners. He adds, “We are also strengthening our business in Philippines and hopefully planning on expanding to Indonesia in 2019.”
“Singapore is fantastic and everything works here. It is convenient and cost of doing business is affordable. I am just a big fan of Singapore!” says Darwin.
Click here to find out more about Ticket2Me.