The ticketing industry may be dominated by the likes of Ticketmaster and StubHub but in the second quarter of 2015, investment in event and ticketing startups reached a five-year high. And according to CB Insights, over the past five years ticketing startups have raised $783 million in funding.
Seed deals have gone to startups in a wide range of ticketing areas including movies, sports and music. There’s clearly a lot of interest in the industry with startups such as Eventbrite securing investment of over $198 million to date.
From gig tickets without booking fees, sports ticketing for millennials, and apps that make going to the movies easier, we take a look at the latest startups disrupting the ticketing industry…
DICE is a live music discovery and mobile ticketing app which allows users to book gig tickets with no booking fees. The UK startup DICE was co-founded by music manager Phil Hutcheon and digital product studio ustwo, and is looking to take on the likes of Ticketmaster and Seatwave.
Mustafa Suleyman and Demis Hassabis (founders of Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind) are among the startup’s backers. And this month, DICE announced that it has raised $6 million in a Series A round led by Evolution Equity Partners. DICE has ambitious global expansion plans with its sights set on Europe and the US. The startup is also flexing its musical muscles as an Apple Music Curator.
- Founded: 2014
- Total funding raised: $9.8 million
- USP: gig tickets with no booking fees
TodayTix is an app for last-minute discount theatre tickets. Founded in 2013 by theatre producers Brian Fenty and Merritt Baer, TodayTix is attracting a young crowd, with millennials making up 70% of the app’s user base.
Earlier this year, TodayTix closed a $9 million Series B round co-led by Walden Venture Capital and TYLT Ventures. Boasting over one million users and offering tickets in London and seven US cities, TodayTix is focused on further expansion and product innovation.
- Founded: 2013
- Total funding raised: $15.7 million
- USP: on-demand last-minute theatre tickets
Atom Tickets is an app designed to make movie-going easier and help cinemas fill more seats. Users can buy advance tickets and concessions through the app, co-ordinate with friends, and skip the lines at the theatre.
Founded by Ameesh Paleja, Matthew Bakal and Geoff Shaevitz, the startup’s ticketing platform uses data analysis and targeting techniques to improve the movie-going experience and provide consumer insights. Atom Tickets is backed by the likes of Lionsgate, Disney, and 20th Century Fox, who all led its Series B funding round earlier this year. The app is available in several cities throughout the US and has plans for nationwide expansion.
- Founded: 2014
- Total funding raised: over $50 million
- USP: makes going to the movies easy
YPlan lets you browse local events by date and book tickets through the app. Founded by Rytis Vitkauskas and Viktoras Jucikas, YPlan is now installed on a third of London’s iPhones and is a champion of experiential campaigns.
In 2014, YPlan raised $24 million in a Series B round, bringing their funding total to a healthy $38 million. YPlan has also been successful in attracting high profile backers such as Ashton Kutcher, Stephen Fry and Pharrell Williams. Earlier this year, the startup scaled back its operations in the US to focus on growing its business in the UK and Ireland.
- Founded: 2012
- Total funding raised: $37.7 million
- USP: uncover the best events every day
Gametime is a mobile ticketing app for sports fans. Through the app, users can buy and sell last-minute tickets to sporting events in cities across the US. Gametime’s focus on mobile and digital ticketing has attracted millennials, and 85% of its users are age 34 or younger.
The San Francisco-based startup’s team includes founder and CEO Brad Griffith and CRO Colin Evans (a founder of StubHub Inc). In 2015, Gametime raised $13 million in a Series A funding round led by Accel Partners. The investment will go towards expanding the business beyond sports by scaling up with a concert ticketing service.
- Founded: 2013
- Total funding raised: $13.3 million
- USP: on-demand tickets for sports and live entertainment
Songkick is a concert discovery and ticketing platform that lets users track their favourite bands, set up concert alerts and buy tickets. They target music fans in over 60 markets around the world. Co-founded by Ian Hogarth, Songkick is based in the UK but also has a strong presence in the US.
Last year, Songkick and artist-ticketing platform Crowdsurge merged and Matt Jones (former CEO of Crowdsurge) is now leading the team. The music ticketing startup recently announced $15 million of new funding from Access Industries, bringing its funding total to over $60 million.
- Founded: 2007
- Total funding raised: $45.8 million
- USP: track your favourite bands and buy gig tickets
DesignMyNight is a platform for users to discover the best nightlife in the UK and book online. Launched in 2010, DesignMyNight is now available in nearly 20 cities in the UK and Ireland. The team also created Tonic Ticketing, one of the leading ticketing platforms in the UK. Tonic allows event organisers to promote and sell tickets through the platform for free.
DesignMyNight was co-founded by Andrew Webster and Nick Telson who dreamed up the digital guide in 2009 and now the platform has almost four million monthly users. Booking and ticketing platforms followed, as well as an app. In 2014, DesignMyNight secured £250,000 of funding including investment from former Friends Reunited CEO Michael Murphy.
- Founded: 2010
- Total funding raised: £500,000
- USP: nightlife discovery and event ticketing
Whether it’s foregoing fees, making ticketing a social experience or striving to make digital tickets the norm, these startups are finding new approaches to ticketing, giving consumers more choice and helping to change a long-stagnant industry.
Want to read about disruptive app startups in other industries? Check out our app startups series.