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Another app-based start-up has failed to live up to the hype. And we're still waiting for a company in the tours and activities field to translate marketing buzz into a scalable and profitable business.

London-based event ticketing app YPlan, which secured around $38 million worth of investment during its lifetime, has been sold for an initial outlay of just $2 million (£1.6 million).

The acquisition by magazine publisher Time Out Group will likely mean a disappointing exit for those that backed the company, including Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher.

Following its most recent round of fundraising in late 2014, YPlan tweaked its business model to become more of a marketplace for listings, a move that reportedly led to some lay-offs.

Time Out Group said it planned to use the deal to help strengthen its e-commerce division.

YPlan had received plenty of hype in its four-year history. At one point co-founder Rytis Vitkauskas even talked about building a billion-dollar company, but its most recent set of accounts show just how far off that dream was.

In 2015 the company generated a pre-tax loss of $7.6 million (£6.2 million). Losses in its current financial year have been reduced thanks to “reductions in its cost base”. Accumulated losses since its inception totalled $20.8 million (£17 million).

Time Out Group will pay for YPlan using newly-issued shares worth around $2 million (£1.6 million). A further $1 million (£0.8 million) could be due in a year’s time, taking the total amount payable to a maximum of $3 million (£2.4 million).

From the comments made by Time Out Group CEO Julio Bruno, it seems that the motivation for the deal was the technology underpinning YPlan.

“Developing e-commerce and monetizing our audience is an important element of our ambitious growth strategy. We acquired YPlan because its advanced technology will significantly accelerate this strategy. It will enable us to offer our large audience more online booking opportunities, whilst improving the user experience,” he said in a statement.

Vitkauskas and co-founder Viktoras Jucikas said in a statement: “For us as founders, the acquisition is a natural continuation of our vision for YPlan: to enable people to discover and do amazing things, whether in their beloved home cities or while traveling. We’re both very proud to join with our team such an iconic brand and to be part of Time Out’s next chapter.”

Time Out Group raised $110 million (£90 million) when it listed on AIM, a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange, in June.

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Tags: apps, mobile, tours and activities

Photo credit: YPlan co-founders Rytis Vitkauskas, and Viktoras Jucikas. Time Out Group has bought the event app for an initial outlay of $2 million. OFFICIAL LEWEB PHOTOS / Flickr

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