Twitter’s investment arm recently took a stake in VenueNext, the start-up behind the San Francisco 49ers’ in-stadium app. The investment can be viewed as an effort from the micro-blogging firm to expand its e-commerce initiatives.
Moving beyond sports and music
VenueNext raised $9 million in funding from a number of investors including Twitter, marking the micro-blogging firm’s third public investment. The funding was led by Causeway Media Partners, and other investors included Aruba Networks and Live Nation Entertainment.
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For VenueNext, the investment comes just six months after the start-up completed its first full season at the 49ers’ tech-friendly new stadium in Santa Clara. The user-friendly app allows a user to concentrate on the game, and can take care of other things like ordering food, scanning a ticket or watching replays on the app.
Last year, VenueNext COO John Paul told Re/Code that 15 other venues are interested in trying the app, and now the COO expect the app to be in 30 venues by the end of this year. Though Paul did not reveal much on the venues, he did say that apart from the music or sports venues, hotels are also a possibility. VenueNext recently released an app called Express Order for use in some parts of Disney World on Apple’s App Store.
Opportunity for Twitter to tap Live-events
For Twitter, the investment offers yet another sign that the company is interested in live events like NFL games and concerts. The micro-blogging firm always wants its users to tweet during such events, not only from their home, but also from the stadiums and arenas. For the same purpose, it is also developing a new feature that makes it easier for a user to follow such events.
This kind of investment from Twitter suggests that the company plans to capitalize on other aspects of live events such as ticket sales or selling merchandise, says a report from Re/Code. For instance, ordering a merchandise offered at discount, and getting it delivered to your seat or even tweeting a beer to a friend during an NFL game, says the report.
Twitter has ambitions to move beyond the occasional “buy” button, and its latest investment is likely a step towards this goal. Though Paul stated that the companies are not partnering from a product point of view, it remains a possibility going forward.