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Court orders liquidation of Active Ticketing

After three years, Active Ticketing/Stikit is to be wound up by order of the UK's High Court of Justice, following a petition brought by a creditor earlier this year

By Jon Chapple on 13 Jul 2018

Active Ticketing, Force India, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2016

Active Ticketing sponsored Force India at the 2016 Abu Dhabi grand prix


image © Sahara Force India F1 Team

Troubled UK mobile ticketing start-up Active Ticketing is to be wound up on the orders of a high court judge.

IQ revealed in March that a creditor of London-based Active, which is believed to have raised millions through equity investment and bond sales since its launch in 2015, had filed a petition to force the company into liquidation.

Despite founder and CEO Lee Booth reportedly promising to pay creditors back in full – as well as repay investors all interest owed, at 7.6% per annum for two years – at a previous court hearing, court documents reveal “no one appear[ed] on behalf of” Active for the final hearing on 20 June. Catherine Addy, deputy insolvency and companies court judge at the High Court of Justice, then ordered the liquidation of Active Ticketing Ltd.

The 10 June winding-up order is also listed in the London Gazette, the UK’s official journal of record.

London-based Active traces its genesis to Eskimo Media & Technology, which achieved prominence in late 2013 with its NFC-based Samsung Smart Ticket, developed for Samsung’s short-lived Galaxy Studio Live concert series. The technology behind Smart Ticket was later licensed exclusively to Active Ticketing and renamed Stikit, which was pitched to investors as a “mobile technology that removes the need for paper or physical tickets to events, a medium that is expensive to manufacture, costly to monitor, open to fraud and provides next to no cross-sell or up-sell opportunity”.

Despite high-profile partnerships with Mastercard, Ipswich Town FC, the Mobile World Congress, the Force India Formula 1 team and, most recently, ATC Management (Kate Tempest, Frank Carter, the Temperance Movement) – and predictions by founder and CEO Lee Booth the company would generate net revenues of £13 million in 2016 – the company never filed any accounts, with its first set of books overdue as of 3 April 2017.

Active failed to send a representative to a hearing, leading judge Catherine Addy to order its liquidation

Active was incorporated in October 2015 as a public company, with tech entrepreneurs Booth and Scott Boocock as directors. They were joined by Ed Goring, whose family own London’s Goring Hotel, on 3 December, with Boocock, then CCO, leaving in March 2016.

The company originally intended to launch with an initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq’s European First North stock exchange in April 2016, although this plan was apparently shelved and Active was re-registered as a private limited company on 1 November 2017.

The company also sold corporate bonds “to be used to fund the final stages of the IPO process”. A source tells IQ that Active raised “millions of pounds in initial equity”, while bondholders are believed to have contributed a similar amount.

Commenting on the potential demise of Active, a person with knowledge of the situation told IQ in March that Stikit’s “key problem” was that, outside of a few trials, it “couldn’t gain adoption in the industry” and therefore lacked a “tangible” long-term business plan.

The legal costs of R4L LLP, the petitioner which filed to wind up the company, will be paid out of the remaining assets of Active.

 


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