Tech Company Pico Helping Bundesliga Clubs Navigate Pandemic
Israel-based software company Pico has helped Bundesliga club Werder Bremen develop and implement a chat bot platform that connects the club’s ticket holders and their preferences at a time when it is not possible to do so face-to-face. The work by Pico -- whose AI data helps teams learn more about fans they engage with digitally -- comes in response to German regulations which allow clubs and event organizers to refund tickets to canceled events with vouchers and not cash.
As such, Pico co-Founder & CEO Asaf Nevo said the software makes it "easy for fans across any digital channel" -- whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or the club’s website or app -- to be able to "come in, type in the open invoices they didn’t use and then choose whether they want to get a refund or whether they want to waive the money." He explained, "There was a big need in the German market for a solution like this. … We used this case study to accelerate our growth in the Bundesliga and in the entire German market." Pico also works with Borussia Dortmund.
The pandemic caught Pico at end of a large fundraising process, with Nevo returning from meetings in Germany with a potential lead investor. Nevo and Pico VP/North America Quinton Porter called that time "scary." But Nevo indicated that the company has doubled its total number of customers during the period, with approximately 50 in professional sports at present. He also said that Pico met its fundraising goals and locked down that German investor despite the global disruption.
Pico at the outset of the pandemic decided not to charge new business properties for its services. Charges only now are beginning to kick in, utilizing a new model fit for sports’ uncertain future in which properties pay Pico more the more they use the company’s services. Nevo said that no customers have dropped their services yet as a result of the charges.