LAVCA spoke with Tiago Compagnoni, founder of Queremos/WeDemand, who discussed how his desire to bring top talent to Rio de Janeiro drove him to “crowdsource” concerts, creating a unique business model that is now expanding across Latin America.
Compagnoni: Queremos/WeDemand is an open social platform that brings together fans, bands and promoters to crowdfund and promote concerts. It has already enabled fans of bands like LCD Soundsystem, Primal Scream, Jamie Lidell, The Kills and Two Door Cinema Club to bring the bands to play in their towns. Having promoted over 50 concerts using this system in the past two years in Brazil (under the name Queremos!) the company is now expanding to the US. WeDemand is focused on funding and viral dissemination. It’s a mechanism through which the fans have a direct interest in disseminating the campaign, first to guarantee the concert will happen, and then to get more people to attend it, so it sells out. When the concert sells out, the initial fans that funded it receive a full reimbursement.
LAVCA: How did you come up with your business idea? What drove you to begin crowdsourcing concerts?
Compagnoni: We were huge music fans and few artists were playing in Rio. We came up with the actual costs for an artist we liked to play in Rio that already was going to play in São Paulo. We decided to crowdfund it between 100 fans. The first 100 fans were very motivated because we explained that they would be refunded if the concert sold out.
LAVCA: How does your background help you to succeed in managing this venture?
Compagnoni: I had a mixed background. I studied economics, had an alternative band in the late 90’s and was producing content for TV at the time. This combination of formal education with entrepreneurship in different areas helped me find the solutions to different hurdles we came across.
LAVCA: Can you give us a better insight into how Queremos captures revenue from the model? Do you receive money when the concert is successfully “crowdfunded” or do you take a percentage of ticket sales?
Compagnoni: We charge a fee of the crowdfunded tickets when the concerts are succesfully crowdfunded. We share this fee between artists and producers. We also have a plan to share a small percentage of the ticket sales with selected partners.
LAVCA: What sort of financing have you received so far, and from whom?
Compagnoni: We closed a seed round of USD$900k on convertible notes with Talis Capital as our lead investor and some individual investors from the music business, including Sean Moriarty, the former CEO of Ticketmaster.
LAVCA: What resources have you used in your search for financing?
Compagnoni: We were selected as one of the startups for theTechcrunch Battlefield competition and participated in 21212’s acceleration program.
LAVCA: What role have equity investors taken in the management/operation of your company? Have you faced any challenges thus far in your relationship with equity investors?
Compagnoni: It’s been really recent, so I can’t answer that yet. But we searched for investors that would fit our way of thinking and that would naturally help us on the matters we needed the most.
LAVCA: What feedback have you received from investors about where to make improvements in your business model?
Compagnoni: The most common feedback is to expand our model to other activities besides music in the future. Start crowdfunding sport events, comedy shows, theater, etc. We believe anything that is too expensive for only one person to buy and that doesn’t lose value if shared can be incorporated in our services: concerts, sports events, movies, theater plays.
LAVCA: Do you see the Brazilian market as having a unique demand for Queremos’s business? Can you give us an idea of your plans for international expansion?
Compagnoni: The most important thing in our business is that it has a global application. Every city in the world has unsatisfied fans that want to see their favorite artist. We are focusing on the US market now but we have plans to soon expand to other markets.
LAVCA: Are you currently looking for additional financing?
Compagnoni: We are now getting traction with our platform to achieve a good valuation on our series A.
LAVCA: Where do you see Queremos five years from now?
Compagnoni: As a platform that provides business intelligence to all artists and producers in the world so they can schedule their concerts and maximize profit and attendance.