The multimillion-dollar live auction app pioneered by a pair of Mount Maunganui brothers is debuting in Australia at the 2018 Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Peter and Brendan Howell created Dropit in 2015, a reverse auction app platform which counts down the price of an item to $0 in 60 seconds. The app has had more than $5 million of investment since inception.
This weekend the app will be showcased to a massive audience of Grand Prix spectators in Melbourne as it auctions off three prizes including a supercar behind the scenes garage tour, a visit to the pit canopy on Saturday to see crews on track, and 10 tickets to the exclusive after party.
Business development manager Blair Cashmore said this was the first time the app had been used at an Australian event.
The Grand Prix prizes were ones the average person would not usually get a chance to do and Cashmore expected they would generate a lot of interest among the "diehard motorsport fans".
There were ads around the venue for the reverse auctions and the event's MCs would also be talking about the prizes, Cashmore said.
This would entice the fans to download the app to their phones. At previous events, such as at the Breakers' home game against the Cairns Taipans in January, about 20 per cent of the audience downloaded the app and Cashmore expected a similar trend during the Grand Prix.
"If we can get that we will be happy. There are over 300,000 people here throughout the weekend, 20 per cent of that would be great.
"It's fantastic to be involved in it for a little set-up from the Mount. It's something unique, there's nothing else like it as far as we know."
Cashmore said the app had been used at sporting matches in the United States and here in New Zealand, and the team was looking to expand into other countries. Japan was high on the wishlist.
At this stage, the app would just be used at sporting events, although there was scope for it to be used in a range of ways.
- Founded by brothers Peter Howell and Brendan Howell in New Zealand in 2015
- Headquartered in Miami with offices in New York and Tauranga
- Specialises in fan engagement and live-event entertainment
- Supported on iOS and Android