Rytis Vitkauskas and Viktoras Jucikas spotted a gap in the entertainment market. No single app or website provided an efficient way to discover and purchase last minute nights out. Together with a dedicated team of former Time Out, GetTaxi and See Tickets executives, YPlan was founded. Through the inception period, Rytis has received mentorship & guidance from the founders and managers of Skype, Facebook, Google, lastminute.com, Hailo, Geckoboard, GoCardless, Dropbox and others.
G: Tell us about your business ?
YPlan is tonight’s going out app. It is serendipity at its finest: Londoners can finally discover, book and go to tonight’s best events in two taps. We had one very clear objective for YPlan’s functionality: to make the discovery and purchase of a night out as simple as possible, while offering a payment system that’s exceptionally safe, secure and instantaneous. As consumers, we’ve been having this problem for ages – having a free evening out of a sudden and not knowing what to do. Looking at successful last minute start-ups working in other verticals we’ve decided entertainment is also up for disruption. Thus YPlan was born.
G: What is innovative / unique about what you do?
YPlan is the world’s first mobile-only event booking app. It allows you to do what was not possible in the pre-YPlan era – discover, book and go to the event at the same night. No need to think weeks in advance, no need print any paper tickets or call someone to confirm your booking etc.
G: What were the biggest obstacles launching the start-up and how did you overcome them?
There is a huge gap between ideas on a drawing board and a fully functioning company. Every day is a challenge, it is always unique and new, which is also very interesting and motivating. The best way to deal with problems and issues is to make sure they don’t happen, hence we spend a lot of time thinking and working hard to prevent them at a first place. We’re extremely proud of our very talented and hard-working team (we’re now 17!) which makes all this possible.
G: What would you say has been your most memorable experience while developing your startup?
Seeing happy customers is most rewarding. For our launch we’ve set up YPlan’s Little Chapel in Boxpark, Shoreditch, where Londoners came over to get hitched by Elvis himself. On the very first day we’ve got a couple from Portugal, who were staying with their friend in London. They’d been together for many years (10+), loved each other very much, but due to a number of reasons (primarily financial) they have never had the joy of a wedding. They had such a great time at our chapel and ended up married! Helping people to fulfill their dreams is very exciting and memorable.
G: Why did you choose Shoreditch to launch your start-up?
We initially started off this summer at Google Campus / TechHub, which provided the most flexible and functional space for our needs. It’s also a great hub of entrepreneurship where good ideas and smart people congregate.
G: Why did you move out from Shoreditch?
With YPlan, we quickly outgrew the space we had at TechHub and were looking for a more autonomous office space that would still have a cool character to it. We wanted to stay close to Shoreditch / Angel area, which we did – we’re now based between Kings Cross and Angel on Pentonville Road. The key for us was to find an office space, where we didn’t have to sign up to a 2-3 year lease – as a startup, it’s just impractical as you don’t know how many people you’ll have in 2 months, let alone 2 years. So we ended up sub-letting a neat piece of space from another great startup, Artfinder.
G: What are your favourite businesses in Shoreditch?
There are so many cool businesses. Geckoboard, GoCardless, Cartogami, Secret Escapes…
G: What are your favorite places in Shoreditch?
Hoxton Hotel bar, Ozone café, Shoreditch Grind, Google Campus.