Sympla: Epidemic Startup Card Emerges With Diversified Business – Link

Among the many startups and digital ticket platforms operating in Brazil, only a few are known simple. Two years into the pandemic, iFood’s sister company (both belonging to the Movile group) is different: Although the resurgence of concerts, parties, and plays motivates the company, its business models have evolved and aim far beyond head-to-head events.

Founded in Belo Horizonte 10 years ago, Sympla has always focused on selling digital tickets for personal events: it has become common to present a QR code on the screen of a smartphone. With the entertainment industry crippled, the company realized it was necessary to adapt and began investing in developing new digital tools. In other words, the startup had to learn to become more digital due to social isolation.

“We entered the pandemic with a business line. Today, we are coming up with three: tickets for in-person events, tickets for digital events and on-demand events, enabling courses and distance learning,” he says. stadium Theresa Santos, CEO of Sympla.

Sympla bets to start playing tickets on post-pandemic in-person, digital and hybrid formats

With this, the company also has a streaming platform for plays and shows, which can be broadcast live or pre-recorded. In addition, the company has developed specific solutions when face-to-face events resume, such as an automated system for determining the distance to assigned seats.

Adjustments were necessary, as competition for this segment in Brazil is intense, with traditional names in this segment, such as Time for Fun. According to the Brazilian Association of Startups (ABStartups), there are about 240 tech companies in the field of events and tourism in the country, a share that is growing year by year. There are also global startups related here, such as German Eventim and French Shotgun. Finally, rising national names such as Ingresse, Eventbrite, and Even3 have heightened the conflict.

For Gilberto Sarfati, Professor at Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV), entering into new business models during the pandemic has had the effect not only of generating cash to weather the period of turmoil, but also of broadening business fronts for eventual recovery.

Today, there are many possible experiences in the events that followed the pandemic. It’s a market Much larger than it has been before,” he notes, stressing that Movile’s performance can help propel start-up Minas Gerais. “Sympla ended up creating a massive business model on these three fronts.”

Led by Teresa Silva, Sympla has seen the growth of the business district in the midst of the pandemic by standardizing digital and hybrid formats face-to-face

Face to face is also a good thing

Despite the changes, Teresa admits: “Between us, face-to-face coordination is one thing and digital is another. Of course, face-to-face is still our flagship.” With three years in the company and eight years of experience in the events sector, she has reason to be optimistic.

Since September 2021, when it began reopening in Brazil as vaccination progressed, Sympla says it has broken records month after month. On New Year’s Eve 2022, for example, sales exceeded 80% compared to the same party from 2019 to 2020, just before the arrival of COVID-19. In the summer of this year, more than 8 million tickets were issued – in February, during the “Carnival off the streets”, it was very common to find closed events on the podium.

Today, the startup has 130,000 clients, compared to 100,000 in November 2020 – however, it does not provide details of the financial process. It is not possible to know, for example, the amount of investments that Movile makes in the company. In the words of Teresa, there are expectations of growth in numbers.

In addition to the success of the vaccination against the Corona virus, 2022 brings several dates that are considered positive for the calendar of events: off-season carnivals, music festivals and tours of resuming activities, extended holidays and, of course, the World Cup. “This is very much in our favour,” the executive says.


With one foot in the digital world and the other in the physical world, Sympla is moving towards a model of flexibility, where event organizers can choose different formats according to their needs.

Today, the show itself can be in-person, with digital tickets being offered at the door, and it can be streamed live for home users. For an additional fee, the audience at home can watch the performance behind the scenes. “These are integrated experiences. We can offer content that is unprecedented compared to live content,” says Teresa.

Now, the company is working on improving the platform’s event recommendations algorithm – the goal being to turn it into the weekend’s agenda. Additionally, the company is talking about redesigning the app, improving the consumer browsing experience, and implementing new forms of payments from Pix.

As with other startups, Sympla is considering entering international territories, thanks to the small push for digital formats. However, this movement should not occur until after the merger in Brazil, “where there is still a lot of opportunity,” says the CEO.

Finally, she also dreams of seeing the company achieve the ‘unicorn’ stature (market valuation over US$1 billion), just like its ‘brother’ iFood. But according to Theresa, this should be a result of the company’s achievements rather than a goal. “We need to focus.”

Leandro Reno is the founder and CEO of Even3, a startup science and corporate events

Leandro Reno is the founder and CEO of Even3, a startup science and corporate events

More ‘head’, Even3 startup targets science events

It’s not just about the entertainment that startups in this field experience in Brazil. Recife up to 3, born 2016, focuses on companies and scientific sectors, such as academic conferences. This part has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced digitization as early as 2020.

“We had to adapt very quickly, with new alternatives and customer support,” explains Leandro Reinaux, founder and CEO of Even3. During this period, the company’s platform has adapted solutions from the “real world” to digital, such as a team of residents and recording of lectures.

With the adaptation, the team expanded from 20 to 60 people, essentially seeing the customer base grow to other regions of Brazil: “Online breaks down all barriers.”

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