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Vivid Seats acquires ticket distributor Fanxchange

Major US secondary ticketing platform Vivid Seats has made its first acquisition: Toronto-based Fanxchange, which offers white-label ticketing solutions for ecommerce sites, banks, travel agencies, loyalty programmes and more.

The acquisition, for “up to” C$85 million (US$65m), will further Chicago-based Vivid Seats’ “position as one of the most trusted, authoritative and comprehensive ticket marketplaces in North America”, according to a statement from the company.

“Vivid Seats is constantly exploring new ways to deliver more of the unparallelled joy of live events that has fuelled our success to date,” says Stan Chia, Vivid Seats’ CEO, who joined from Grubhub last October. “With Fanxchange, their focus on servicing the live event ticketing needs of distribution partners is an important complement to the consumer marketplace that we’ve built to date.

“We are thrilled to add their talented team and robust B2B platform, ultimately connecting more fans, sellers and partners with superior technology and the best marketplace experience.”

“With access to Vivid Seats’ infrastructure, resources and scale, we can rapidly accelerate our growth in enterprise and distribution”

Founded in 2009 by Brandon Koffler and Shawn Brookes, Fanxchange operates its own consumer-facing ticket resale platform, in addition to its core distributed-commerce business. The latter allows consumers to purchase tickets directly from the content they are reading online without needing to go to another page or website – for example, providing ticket sales links to people booking a weekend away on a travel site, for shows on those dates. (Or, in US corporate lingo, “streamlin[ing] the way consumers shop for live events by surfacing tickets across multiple distribution verticals where consumers are already engaging in content and commerce”).

Fanxchange becomes part of Vivid Seats, with Koffler and Brookes leading the company as Vivid’s B2B arm from Toronto.

“Since 2009, we have focused on building a company and platform driven by innovation,” says Fanxchange CEO Koffler. “With access to Vivid Seats’ infrastructure, resources and scale, we can rapidly accelerate our growth in enterprise and distribution. We’re very excited about this opportunity.”

Vivid Seats is backed by private-equity firms Vista Equity Partners and GTCR, the latter of which acquired a significant stake in May 2017. Vista is believed to value the company at around US$1.5 billion.


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