San-Francisco-based Ticketfly was founded in 2008 by Andrew Dreskin and Dan Teree. They believe themselves to be much more than an online ticket selling solution and see the company as an end-to-end, cloud-based social ticketing platform for event promoters and venues. The platform helps integrate ticketing with event website and social marketing in addition to providing analytical tools that help event promoters increase sales to their events. Event organizers can sell tickets not only through event websites, but also through social pages such as event pages on Facebook. Some analysts have called it the fastest-growing, independent ticketing and social marketing platform.
Ticketfly provides event-related content management solutions that let event organizers create event listings and publish them on multiple media channels. Customers can also access media rich websites that are built and hosted by Ticketfly. As part of its social media initiatives, Ticketfly offers an artist database featuring more than 200,000 artists. The crowdsourced database lets users access the artists’ bios, photos, videos, and social media links that can be imported into event listings.
Ticketfly earns revenues through a service and an order processing fee it charges for ticket sales to the end consumer. The service fee is charged per ticket and varies per event. Its share is determined by both Ticketfly and the venue or promoter. The transaction charge, on the other hand, is an order fulfillment charge. Researchers estimate that they sell nearly 400,000 tickets a month and charge between $1 and $22 a ticket.
Ticketfly is also known for the ease of use of its tools. Customers claim that these tools are so simple that they can post details of an event and put tickets on sale through their mobile phone apps. Customers are also shifting to Ticketfly because of its lower fee structure. According to Dreskin, Ticketfly’s convenience fees are nearly half those charged by Ticketmaster. Earlier this year, Ticketmaster users also experienced several glitches during the booking of their tickets. Ticketfly is hoping to cash in on customer dissatisfaction and has partnered with several promoters and venues that are looking for options beyond Ticketmaster.
Last year, Ticketfly’s ticket sales grew 16% in volume, and the client base grew more than 120%. While the company does not disclose their revenues, 2011 was the second consecutive year in which Ticketfly more than doubled its revenues. During the first half of the current year, Ticketfly grew its client base by 65%, adding clients like The Catalyst, Aladdin Theater, and Aspen Live Conference, to name a few.
Ticketfly has raised venture funds from investors that include Roger Ehrenberg, High Peaks Venture Partners, Contour Venture Partners, Mohr Davidow Ventures, SAP Ventures, Northgate Capital, and Cross Creek Capital. Its latest round of funding of $22 million, raised in July, was led by SAP Ventures and helped raise the company’s funding total to $37 million. Analysts believe that Ticketfly could well be on the road to an IPO. Management, however, has remained quiet about such speculation.
Ticketfly’s Expanding Offerings
Ticketfly plans to use the additional funds to develop newer offerings and increased sales and marketing efforts. As part of its new offerings, it recently announced the launch of a reserved seat booking. Reserved seat sales account for more than 70% of the advance tickets sold in the country. Ticketfly will be able to offer this feature to their customers and believes it will effectively triple the addressable market size. Ticketfly is going beyond concerts and is now also a social platform for sports events. The company is working to attract contracts from stadiums and arenas that will help grow its market reach.
It has also partnered with several technology providers to enhance the user experience. Last year, it tied up with Aloompa and Intellitix to enable radio frequency identification (RFID) authentication of tickets and passes for Android- and iOS-based devices. As part of an end-to-end offering for the end consumer, they tied up with car sharing service Zimride to help concert-goers find carpools to events when they purchase tickets online.
Ticketfly management believes that worldwide event ticketing market is a more than $50 billion market opportunity. For now, its recent funding and products are helping it build an offering that is gradually becoming a more preferred destination for online ticketing and a more serious challenger to Ticketmaster. But Ticketmaster reaches more than 26 million unique visitors monthly and promotes an inventory of more than 500,000 tickets on any given day, and surpassing them will be a big task for Ticketfly.