When Ben Curthoys created Monad Ticketing, it was with the intention of reimagining the basics.
“I was working as Director of System Development at Galathea STS Ltd, a company that supplied the entire ticketing system, and two things were clear: firstly, that no amount of bells or whistles would make up for not being great at selling tickets – quickly and easily and efficiently; and secondly that the industry as it stood then was based on technology that was 10 years old, and that for all the major systems the web was an “
Monad was built with a web-first perspective when most box office systems were written to run locally on computers in the box office, and with a radical new approach to the data structure, which has enabled it to remain at the cutting edge of functionality, and keep web sales and mobile sales as easy as possible for the customer.
Originally, Ben had thought he wanted to work in the theatre – as a lighting designer – but one season at the Edinburgh Fringe soon put paid to that idea. Instead, he turned to technology, but remained in touch with his theatrical roots first at Artifax Software, and then at Galathea, developing software for use by performing arts venues.
Ben had always known he wanted to start his own business, and a combination of events towards the end of his time at Galathea led to the ideal circumstances for starting a new venture: nothing to lose! With no investors (and next to no income) Ben lived as frugally as possible whilst taking all the time he thought necessary to build the foundations of the system as solidly as possible – well aware that he would never get another chance to start from scratch.
Monad’s first customer was the Tourist Information Office in Windsor, and the company has continued on a steady pattern of growth since.
“It’s been a slow but steady process in building the business, but I’m happy with that. SaaS is obviously the standard now, but I cut my teeth working for vendors that sold software licences. And what that model basically means is that you have to sell a new system every month to cover your wage bill. Which is ok at first, but the more you sell, the more staff you need to keep up with promised development and support and training – so the more you have to sell. And locking your self into exponential growth seems a great idea at first, but sooner or later you stop being able to manage that, and when that happens you can get into trouble very quickly.”
“To date, every step Monad Ticketing has taken has been cash flow positive. Money coming in from existing customers always covers the bills, and we grow as we add new customers. We’re debt free without investors dictating the pace at which we grow,” he added.
The future is looking very positive for Ben and Monad Ticketing as they have some exciting developments coming their way. Most notably, a new client in the form of the Royal Academy of Music has prompted the development of an integration with the Raiser’s Edge fundraising system, which opens up a whole new market segment for them.
Better again, as part of the Entrepreneur’s Club, Monad Ticketing have been kind enough to offer an exclusive deal to its fellow members - 25% off their standard per-ticket fees and development/consultancy charges.