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Passphere capital raise heralds new dawn of event ticketing

30 Oct 2018

Kiwi-born ticketing and analyst platform startup Passphere is setting its sights on the local NZ market and even bigger markets like Australia and the United States.

The company raised an official capital seed round led by Kiwis with experience in cloud-based ticketing and IT. 

Behind the scenes, 25-year-old young entrepreneur Ezel Kokcu says the company is now in a position to expand local operations and sales efforts into the wider global marketplace.

“We want to establish ourselves as the premium ticketing platform to help event organisers understand their event attendees even more,” says Kokcu.

Kokcu, who is also the creator of two other apps Non-Stop Tix and STQRY, adds that it’s an exciting time for Passphere.

“Our technology will enable clients to focus on the customer so they can better understand where they are and what they want so they can deliver successful and memorable events. The events ecosystem needs a platform that works after years of clunky tech, that doesn't cost the customer money or time to attend their favourite shows and delivers analytics to event organisers that's helpful and insightful,” says Kokcu. 

Kokcu sold the STQRY app last year before embarking on her latest venture. STQRY, an app that showcases stories and information in museums and cultural institutions, was a huge success – in 2015 the company raised $5.5 million from a US-based venture capital company to grow the business, according to the Ministry of Youth Development.

In 2016 she left STQRY to launch Non Stop Tix and in October 2016, Passphere was born.

She also enlisted the help of others she has worked with in the past, including CTO Tom Cully and Product manager Christen Kruger who developed parts of STQRY.

So far Passphere employees five people locally in Wellington, but it expects to double this number before the end of the year.

“Visiting China, having the opportunity to meet other like-minded young people, and being inspired by everyone I met on the trip, gave me the fire I needed to start Passphere,” Kokcu told the Ministry of Youth Development last year. 

“I was hugely motivated and it will always be such a pivotal time in my life. I’m greatly appreciative of everyone that was not only on the trip but for also giving me the sense of purpose again,” Kokcu says.

“Just have perseverance. There are always a million things that can, and will, go wrong, but you just need one thing to go right until you find your groove. Nothing will be handed to you and you better be motivated and not give up. Know when to really buckle down and be amazing at one skill and know when to start looking. Never undervalue your worth because once you start, others will too.”  

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