Mutual fund-management company Fidelity is the former William Morris Endeavor's latest corporate backer as it eyes further expansion
Sign up for IQ Index
The latest industry news to your inbox.
The blockchain-based ticketing protocol aims to raise a further $17m when its initial coin offering (ICO) officially commences next month
By Jon Chapple on 30 Oct 2017
Blockchain ticketing platform GUTS Tickets has launched an initial coin offering (ICO) it expects to raise nearly US$20m, after plans to ban ticket resale for more than 120% of face value were torpedoed by the Dutch senate.
Last week’s rejection of the six-year-old Ticket Bill (Ticketwet), which Amsterdam-based GUTS says had already been “diluted to the point it became obsolete”, by the Netherlands’ upper house spurred the company to launch an ICO, a type of fundraising mechanism in which – similar to an IPO, where investors buy shares in a company – new projects sell ‘tokens’ in exchange for cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin or (in GUTS’s case) ether.
The GUTS ICO, currently in the presale stage, has so far raised more than $2.5m, with the ICO proper due to commence on 15 November. The company expects to raise a further $17m to fund the development of its platform, which uses blockchain technology to ensure “fans have an opportunity to see their favourite performers at the price originally set by the artist”.
Commenting on the ICO, GUTS Tickets CCO Tom Roetgering tells IQ: “We want to be the most transparent and honest ICO out there. Very little ICOs have an actual working product and clients. We do.
“Our main goal is convince the community that we are a legit project and there is no money-grabbing involved. All the computer program code for blockchain is audited and published so everybody knows everything. Because of the properties of blockchain, everybody is able to see how we transfer the funds and if we misuse them.
“We want to do it the right way, all the way”
“Also important to note is that we’re actually doing a rather small ICO – $17 million is considered to be small. I know: bananas. So the bottom line is: we want to do it the right way, all the way.”
Roetgering also explains that GUTS plans to allow other ticket sellers to use its protocol, known as GET, to distribute tickets on the blockchain.
GUTS this summer deployed its platform at Here Comes the Summer festival, as part of a trial backed by the EU’s Innofest. The company distributed food and drink tokens through the blockchain, allowing attendees to buy tokens through their smartphones – and creating a permanent, easy-to-follow record of all transactions at the festival.
Other recent industry ICOs include ticketing platform Aventus and Viberate, an Airbnb-style marketplace for unsigned musicians. IQ highlighted in March how the blockchain – the decentralised database technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin – is being used in ticketing, live streaming/VR and the distribution of performance royalties.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.