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Dice reveals plans after $65m funding round

Ticketing and event discovery platform Dice is stepping up its global expansion plans after raising a $65 million funding round led by music-focused investment company MUSIC.

MUSIC CEO Matt Pincus has also joined the Dice board of directors, while other investors include Structural Capital and Ahdritz Holding LLC, the investment vehicle for Kobalt Music founder and chair Willard Ahdritz, alongside follow on investments from Exor Ventures and Mirabaud Lifestyle Fund.

The funding will help accelerate Dice’s launch in new cities, as it continues to grow across the US and globally, with a new partnership announcement for Austin, Texas, imminent in the wake of a series of European deals. It will also support Dice’s ongoing product investments.

“The live music industry is adopting Dice faster than ever and proves our thesis that if you treat fans well, they buy more tickets, and go out more often,” says the company’s founder and CEO Phil Hutcheon. “We’re investing heavily in building even more technology and this year alone we released over 60 new features for fans, venues and artists. I’m excited that Matt has joined the board and we’re more focused than ever on our mission to get fans out more.”

In addition, Ali Byrd, most recently of AI healthcare technology company Olive, has been appointed as the firm’s chief financial officer. New York-based Byrd previously held senior positions at Microsoft, CoverWallet and Limewire.

“Dice did the impossible: They made buying a ticket fun. And by doing that, they became much more than a transaction provider,” says entrepreneur and investor Pincus. “Dice is the premier user-centric engagement platform for the most important consumers in music: people who love to go to shows.”

“Dice has come a long way on their vision, and today it’s even clearer that the live industry needs changing”

Launched in 2014, Dice reported the biggest year in its history last year, with more than 55,000 artists and 10,000 venues and promoters using the firm to sell tickets to their shows, but confirmed a number of redundancies earlier this summer as part of a restructure of the business.

“We recently made the difficult decision to restructure parts of our business to ensure we can focus on our most important initiatives,” said a spokesperson for Dice earlier this month. “This is not an exercise we carry out lightly and we’re sad that we have to say goodbye to colleagues that we love working with and respect enormously.”

The company, which launched in Scotland in April, already operates in markets including the UK, US, France, India, Italy, Spain and Germany.

“I met Phil [Hutcheon] in 2015 having heard about Dice,” says Ahdritz. “Rolling out AWAL at that time, I needed so many more venues for all my acts to play. Dice delivers a transformative experience for all stakeholders – from fans to venues to artists and looked like the future for live music. Dice has come a long way on their vision, and today it’s even clearer that the live industry needs changing. I am excited to have the opportunity to be part of the company as an investor.”

Kai Tse, structural capital co-founder and managing partner, adds: “Structural Capital is very excited to be involved in helping Dice continue its success and future growth. We believe Dice is a true industry innovator.”

This funding follows a string of strategic hires including the appointment of music industry veteran Caron Veazey to Dice’s board of directors, as well as former SVP of growth and marketing at HBO Max, Katie Soo, as chief business officer.


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FKP partners with Warner, Kobalt for management venture

Promoter FKP Scorpio has partnered with Umbrella Artist Productions (UAP), an artist management collective launched at Reeperbahn Festival earlier this month, to provide live support to the new venture.

The German-based, pan-European concert and festival promoter will lend its live expertise to UAP, whose founding managers are Ulysses Huppauff (Odyssey Music Management, Germany), Markus Hartmann (Celsius Management, Germany) and James Cassidy and Barry Campbell (Jaba Music Management, UK).

FKP joins Warner ADA, which provides label services and digital marketing, and Kobalt Music, which focuses on publishing, licensing and synchronisation (synch), creating a touring/recording/publishing troika focused on breaking new artists across Europe.

UAP, which has offices in London and Berlin, will work “closely throughout Europe with the FKP Scorpio live concerts and festival business, with particular focus on the UK and German markets”, according to a launch statement.

“UAP will provide an excellent platform to launch talented young artists”

“UAP will provide an excellent platform to launch talented young artists,” comments Freddie de Wall, who joined CTS Eventim-owned FKP as COO as in April. “With the expertise of well-respected managers in various countries, combined with our know-how at FKP Scorpio as a pan-European promoter, we have the opportunity to develop the careers of promising artists from scratch.

“We are very excited about this unique set-up and are looking forward to working with our network of managers and their artists.”

Campbell adds: “UAP puts live performance top of the priority list to kickstart a new band’s career, with release and promotion schedules enhancing the touring – and the ever more important festival plot.”


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