Another Berlin startup which had gone quiet has re-emerged after going back to the drawing board. Following the example of Klash last month, events discovery platform Vamos has launched a new and improved version 3.0.
And the company has also attracted some new support, with SoundCloud CTO and co-founder Erik Wahl amongst a group of investors who have pumped in some new funding. He is joined by Daniel Bornstein, Los Angeles-based investor and VP of global advertising for deviantART, Atlant Fund board member Jan-Ake Classon and Karl Sandstedt of Google on the Vamos advisory board after they contributed to an undisclosed six-figure round.
As for the product itself, Vamos co-founder and CEO Luis-Daniel Alegria told Silicon Allee this week that the team has been hard at work over the past seven months, adding features including profiles and recommendations and revamping the design.
Additionally, the aim is to take Vamos beyond its origins as simply an app and, in Luis’ words, turn it into more of a platform, with a new web interface. As before, Vamos aggregates events near to the user from a number of sources, including Facebook, Eventbrite and Ticketmaster, and now from Eventim and StubHub as well.
The recommendation engine is coming on iOS, in newsletters (such as here), on the web and, in a couple of weeks, on Android, and will enable a user to discover events that are tailored to their location, preferences and profile.
“This new version is providing something we have been missing for a long time,” said Luis, “in terms of being able to grow our userbase beyond the iPhone.”
Among the other new features is the ability to follow a venue. He added: “So for example, if I like Berghain, Watergate and Weekend, they are the only clubs that I am looking for, I would have easier, faster access to events there.”
It’s the aggregation of data, however, all of the actions a user carries out on Vamos, that has been identified as the key for its future. The app has attracted 100,000 downloads so far, with around 20,000 active monthly users, but Luis revealed that the company is now focusing more on registered users – he named reaching a million registered users as being the next big milestone.
But in the seven months of staying under the radar and pivoting the product, is there not a risk that the events discovery landscape – and the competition – has moved on?
Not according to Luis. “The event industry in itself is gigantic, so we have seen a lot of events services that have been been created. … But we think that at the end of the day, in terms of the behaviour of event discovery, no one has really cracked it yet. We are betting that our approach, this kind of aggregated data from multiple sources working on better recommendations, is the way to go instead of going with curated events city by city, which requires a lot of manpower.”
That’s backed up by new investor Karl Sandstedt, industry manager at Google in Stockholm. He said: “The Vamos team has navigated an extremely competitive landscape, built an impressive and scalable product in a very short time with extremely limited funds. It’s a hot space with a clear opportunity to disrupt event promotions as we know it by enabling organisers to target relevant users and in this way monetise through sign-ups or tickets sold.”
Founded in August 2012, Vamos is based in Berlin, and part of the new funding has gone into hiring three new people. And just as with Klash, the newly-enlarged team will have to hope that they can rediscover that most elusive of things, momentum, after their self-imposed silence.