According to PwC, the global Entertainment and media market is expected to reach US $2.2 Tn in 2017 from US $1.6Tn in 2012 and is growing at a CAGR of 5.6%. Bypass Mobile, a software solutions startup ensures that participants at a sports game or at an event can focus on spending time networking or watching the game and not spend time waiting in queues to buy tickets, sports goods, merchandise or any other items.
Founded by Brandon Lloyd in April 2010, Bypass Mobile has been simplifying commerce for sports and entertainment properties. Prior to this, Lloyd had Co founded Off Campus Solutions which is now owned and operated by Sodexo. Other investors include Nolan Ryan, Red McCombs (former owner of the Vikings, Nuggets and Spurs), Casey Wasserman, the Chairman and CEO Of Wasserman Media Group, Capital Sports and Entertainment, Ebay and AEG. The company had raised up to $3.5 Mn in funds by April 2013.
Bypass Mobile’s business model is based on a debatable principle that “Improving payment is best achieved through software and not hardware”. Launched as a smartphone application, it pairs the latest tablets with software tailored to meet the challenges of high volume, high complexity operations. It enables customers to order and pay for concession items in sport venues and stadiums. All this from their seats at a transaction fee of 99 cents. The vendor later texts the customer when the order is ready and sends a bill to the fan’s credit or debit card account. The company has plans to upgrade payment solutions of NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, NCAA, MILB and regional music venues.
Driven by the saying “Premium seat deserve premium solutions”, Bypass commerce suite goes beyond payment acceptance, inventory controls, and queue management. Their solution works along with inventory controls and reporting capabilities across devices and payment locations to acquire data about how the fans engage in commerce. It also offers analytical capabilities and required data to help grow ticketing, sponsorship and activation revenue objectives. Bypass simplifies the ordering process at sports stadiums and entertainment venues. With this, a customer can ‘bypass’ a long queue at the vendor outlet. All one needs to do is download the App, make an order and just watch the game or event.
Some of the major competitors in the Entertainment and Media market include payment solution AG, Cisco, Telpac Industries Inc and Total Venue Control among others. Total Venue Control (TVC) provides cashless concession payment, loyalty and ticketing solutions to sports and entertainment industry. According to them, per capita spending at Lawrence Dumont baseball stadium increased by 60% in comparison to the previous cash only spending. They implemented their first cashless concession payment system at two NFL stadiums (New Meadowlands Stadium and Gillette Stadium). TVC operated the first cashless arena event in the US at Family Arena in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Bypass Mobile’s solution might lead to increased purchases from vendors as the users can order from a mobile location and need not queue up to buy tickets, goods or merchandise. Which may lead to larger traction at stadiums and entertainment venues. Bypass Mobile solution needs a smartphone to operate and the vendors do not have to install expensive hardware to accept payments. This may lead to integration with sports venues, vendors and audience for making and accepting payments, ‘the mobile way.’