The leading European provider of cashless event solutions, MyBee Events enables event organisers to replace traditional payment methods with a cashless system that relies on RFID technology. Founded in 2010 by two HEC Paris graduates, the French start-up has now equipped over 350,000 event goers across seven countries. Its solutions are availbel in France, Philippines, Switzerland and the UK, and MyBee Events is seeking to expand in other European countries and Asia. MyBee CEO Bertrand Sylvestre-Boncheval tells us about the company’s rapid development and its partnership with Orange.
The starting point for us was realising that existing payment methods were a drain on efficiency and security for event organisers. Our customers can now provide event goers with RFID devices—such as cards and bracelets—to make purchases from vendors via touchless payment terminals. This not only saves time and secures transactions but it even enables real-time statistical reporting.
Our partnership with Orange began in February 2013 as part of the Orange Fab France start-up accelerator. We saw the opportunity as a good fit: Orange was interested in NFC technology and we were looking for business opportunities and technical expertise.
In 2013, we managed over €7 million in cashless transactions. We’re hoping to almost double that figure this year. Orange has been involved in many of our most exciting developments over the past year: we’ve signed a distribution agreement with Orange Event Solutions (OES), cooperated with Orange on an R&D project to develop new mobile payment solutions, and have been able to approach some major accounts and Orange subsidiaries.
The OES agreement illustrates the partnership’s complementary nature. The OES’ telecommunications infrastructure enhances what we can offer to our clients and vice-versa. To give an example of how this partnership has really taken off, we only need to look at our biggest event to date – the OES-partnered Cognac Blues Passions Festival, which witnessed a turnout of 23,000 people!
In terms of strategy, our next step is to focus more on fixed, longer-term solutions for clients in the tourism and events industries. For example, we’ve launched talks with potential clients such Stade de France, Club Med and Futuroscope. We also certainly see our partnership with Orange as an important component of our growth strategy. Our main competitor recently signed a strategic alliance with a major telecoms company, so our relationship with Orange will help us to stay competitive well into the future.