fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Eventbrite cuts staff by 45% in $100m cost-saving plan

Event management and ticketing company Eventbrite is laying of 45% of its staff – reportedly between 450 and 500 people – as it implements widespread cost-saving measures.

The workforce reduction was announced as part of a cost-cutting plan, with the company looking to reduce annual expenses by at least $100 million.

The move follows layoffs at other companies in the entertainment industry, including Paradigm and WME parent company Endeavor.

Eventbrite expects to spend between $7m and $10m in severance payments, with an additional $3 to $4m in charges related to facilities and fixed assets.

Reports suggest that Eventbrite’s music division has been particularly affected by the cuts.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption to the live entertainment and experiences economy and we are taking significant action to navigate this unprecedented time,” says Eventbrite co-founder and CEO Julia Hartz.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption to live entertainment and we are taking significant action to navigate this unprecedented time”

“We are saddened to see many members of our team depart the company and we are supporting them in every way we possibly can during this tumultuous time. I want to personally thank our talented and dedicated teammates for contributing towards building the leading platform for independent creators.”

Eventbrite shares (EB) have dropped by just over 66% since the end of February, falling from $21.76 to $7.36. The company’s share price rose by more than 10% during trading yesterday (8 March), following the news of layoffs.

Shares in Eventbrite have been in decline since March 2019, as the company continued to work on the integration of ticketing platform Ticketfly, which it acquired in 2017 for $200m.

The company’s 2019 financial report saw net revenue increase by 12% from the year before to $327m and losses of $69m, an increase of over $6m from 2018.

Photo: Stefan Wieland/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped)

 


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.

Court orders liquidation of Active Ticketing

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.

 


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.

Creditor seeks to wind up Active Ticketing

A creditor of Active Ticketing has filed a petition to wind up the UK mobile ticketing start-up, which is believed to have raised millions through equity investment and bond sales since its launch in 2015.

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 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.

Active originally intended to launch on Nasdaq’s European First North stock exchange in April 2016, although this plan was apparently shelved

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.

An investor information memorandum forecast earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of £10.4m in the year ending 31 December 2017.

The petition to dissolve the company, filed by Beckenham-based contractor R4L LLP on 23 February, was followed by a court hearing on 14 March at the Rolls Building (pictured) in London, home to the High Court of Justice. According to an investor in attendance, the hearing was adjourned until 2 May after Booth told a judge he would pay all creditors back in full (as well as pay investors interest owed: 7.6% per annum for two years).

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

This was identified as a risk in the information memorandum, which notes the company may struggle to gain “access to sufficient inventory to meet demand and key events that may not be available”. However, describing partnerships that apparently never came to fruition, it continues: “AT [Active Ticketing] seeks to mitigate these risks by partnering with at least one of the key ticket providers and to work with federations and national venues to ensure sufficient supply.”

Booth did not respond to a request for comment.

 


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.