The multi-billion dollar event & ticketing industry is dominated by category giants including eBay’s StubHub and LiveNation’s TicketMaster (NYSE: LYV, Mkt Cap: $5.56B). But despite the presence of huge incumbents, funding to online events & ticketing startups hit a five-year quarterly high of $171.9 M in Q2’15, according to CB Insights data.
The spike in Q2’15 funding was almost entirely attributable to two huge deals. A $62M growth round to Accel-backed StubHub competitor SeatGeek, now valued near $200 million, as well as a $105M financing to WeChat movie-ticketing app Weiying Technology from investors including Tencent, Wanda Group, and China eCapital, among others. Over the last five years, global online events & ticketing startups have raised $783M across more than 180 deals. 2014 marked a five-year high for deal activity.
While a handful of events and ticketing companies have rounded up big funding totals, over 55% of all deals in the last eight quarters have come at the Seed/Angel stage. These seed deals have gone to upstarts in a wide range of focus areas from movie ticket discount sites (Dealflicks) to enterprise ticket-vending solutions for sports teams and concert venues (PogoSeat), to mobile music-ticketing apps (DICE FM).
The chart below (taken directly from CB Insights Industry Analytics tool) highlights the spectrum of deals in events & ticketing by stage.
When we peel back the financing data to 2010, a few companies emerge as the dominant targets for deals. In fact, Eventbrite, the event ticketing platform that entered the unicorn club last year, notched a remarkable 4 of the top 10 largest deals in the space. Eventbrite is backed by investors including Sequoia Capital, SoftTech VC and Tiger Global Management.
A handful of Asian firms are also drumming up investor interest. Besides movie ticket service Weiying, Big Tree Entertainment, which owns India’s online entertainment-ticketing property BookMyShow, and Chinese ticket-booking service Gewara, also captured some of the largest deals in the space. The list below ranks the 10 largest events & ticketing transactions since 2010 through July 6, 2015:
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