One app to organize people’s free time in a chaotic city: Startup Stories 

Goers said that with a 30-person team and 4,000 monthly active users it has achieved profitability.

Photo by Yoab Anderson on Unsplash Photo by Yoab Anderson on Unsplash

Indonesia’s major cities tend to have a lack of public information about the various events that are happening. This leaves residents feeling like they don’t have many choices to enjoy their leisure time, and they end up doing the same things over and over again, such as going to shopping malls or the movies.

In reality, there are many unique events happening, but information tends to be disorganized and there’s no single access point, Vilano Sulu told KrASIA. He’s the managing director of Goers, an app that’s trying to structure the multitude of activities going at any given time in Indonesian cities.

Founded in Jakarta in late 2015 by three young entrepreneurs, Niki Tsuraya Yaumi, Sammy Ramadhan, and Anselmus Kurniawan, Goers has evolved into an event app with many features. It allows smartphone users to discover local events near them and book tickets directly through the app. At the same time, it serves as a marketing channel for venue owners, event organizers, and communities who want to inform citizens about their activities.

A feature enabling users to personalize interest means they can immediately find out about events and activities relevant to them. There are several categories, such as Arts & Culture, Charity, Exhibition, Fashion, Food & Drink, Family, Music, Nightlife, Seminar, Shopping, Sport, and Movie.

As Goer’s COO, Niki works hand-in-hand with the CTO, Anselmus, to monitor the team’s progress and oversee implementation of the company’s goals. The CEO of Goers, Sammy, is responsible for various matters relating to the company’s revenue and finances. Vilano joined the team later to take up daily operations as the managing director.

Vilano said the app continues to innovate by adding various features that users need. In the beginning, Goers was referencing apps like Instagram in terms of design and appearance. Its aim was only to inform about events.

But along with the large market demand, Goers added new features such as ticket sales and reservations, as well as a system that allows users to upload their own events to the app.

“We call this the Goers Experience Manager, where users can upload information and promote it themselves without having to contact the Goers management,” Vilano said. The feature is available for various types of activities, such as events, venues, tours and travel. In addition, Goers recently launched a ticket scanner app which simplifies ticket validation at the venue.

The main Goers app has approximately 400,000 downloads and works with thousands of partners. Its content and features can also be accessed via the website goersapp.com. It has about 4,000 active users each month, Vilano said, with the majority of them in the age range of 18 to 35 years.

Since 2015, Goers has only raised an angel and a seed investment. Among its investors are MDI Ventures (a corporate venture capital arm of Indonesian state-owned telco Telkom) and Mahaka Group Media, a local media conglomerate.

According to Goers’ CrunchBase profile, its total funding amounts to USD 1 million.

Vilano declined to share details about the startups’ fundraising, but claims that Goers is a profitable business, although it’s not yet “maximizing the profits”.

“If [the company] were not profitable, then we would not be able to survive until now,” he said.

Vilano added that Goers has three revenue streams. First, some features of the Goers Experience Manager are available only to paying customers, which brings in some revenues. Second, Goers gets a commission from ticket sales; Third, there’s revenue from marketing promotions and ads run on the platform.

Vilano says over 30 people are working at the company, 70% of which are in the IT division. Goers is open to investments as it is looking to achieve its ambitions to become one of the leading city directory apps in the Southeast Asian region.

Since 2017, Goers has paid special attention to advancing the tourism industry by promoting various kinds of events, activities, and places that are trending in Indonesia to domestic and international tourists.

The app recently collaborated with the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration (Kemendes PDTT) to develop digitally enhanced tourism in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), one of the underdeveloped parts of Indonesia with high tourism potential.

One of the efforts is the introduction of electronic e-ticketing to tourist objects. Goers has begun offering tour packages in NTB and lets users book tickets through its website or application.

Village tourism managers who want to promote activities on Goers can get marketing assistance, and the data accrued by Goers over time will help local government and village heads to make better-informed decision about tourism plans in the future.

At least 25 cities in Indonesia have been listed on the Goers website and application, complete with tourist and entertainment destinations. “Next year, we are targeting around 100 digitized tourist attractions,” Vilano said.

Facing competition from various similar apps means Goers has to continue to innovate and differentiate itself. One of the distinguishing features of Goers is its product design, Vilano said.

“Goers focus on creating new innovations with technology. That’s how we compete,” Vilano said, citing the Goers ticket scanner and the Goers Experience Manager as two of the main novelties.

The platform is ready to compete with much bigger rivals such as Gojek’s Go-Tix, BookMyShow, or online travel agents like Traveloka and Tiket.com which also feature activities in several cities, although Vilano believes it is more about differentiation.

“We feel we are not in [too much of a competition] because our basic services are different, even though there are several things that seem to intersect. In fact, we feel that we can complement each other,” he said.