Lyte raises $15m for ‘post-primary ticketing’
Ticket exchange Lyte has raised US$15 million in a series-A funding round to further its mission of creating a “new category in live events: post-primary ticketing”, the company has announced.
US-based Lyte is a fan-to-fan ticket market that connects those no longer able to attend a sold-out event with those who wish to. Buyers can purchase tickets at a much lower price than those offered the secondary market, because Lyte uses dynamic pricing to keep prices below those offered by “third-party scalpers and shady marketplaces”.
Lyte’s ticketing partners include Eventbrite/Ticketfly, AEG’s Elevate Tickets, Live Nation’s Front Gate Tickets and Universe, and Patron Technology’s ShowClix, which it claims to empower to “own the secondary market” by capturing around 60% of the value that would otherwise be lost to third-party resellers.
The company additionally estimates it has saved fans $5.5m since launching in 2013.
Commenting on the new investment, which comes courtesy of Industry Ventures, Accomplice Ventures and Correlation Ventures, among others, Lyte CEO Ant Taylor says: “We made a foundational bet we could build a platform and marketplace that included and benefited all of the folks with financial and emotional investment in this industry: rightsholders, talent, enterprise ticketing companies, as well as fans.
“This raise is a validation of that bet. It’s a win for our partners and the future of the live events ecosystem.”
Other investors include Bernie Cahill and Greg Suess of Activist Artist Management, Chris Martin, the former CTO of Pandora, and internet entrepreneur Matt Mickiewicz, the co-founder of start-ups including 99designs, Hired and Flippa.
“Lyte puts control, revenue and insights into the hands of event producers”
Its ‘post-primary ticketing’ offer, according to Lyte, comprises “private label ticketing services offered to fans by the most iconic sports and entertainment brands, including Coachella, Mumford & Sons, Comic Cons in New York City and Seattle and scores more”.
Lyte’s clients include 50 festivals, 300 venues and several touring artists. The company is now focusing on non-US growth, as well as expansion into other areas of entertainment and sports.
“When our clients choose Lyte, they are choosing a platform that addresses the customer needs ignored by the traditional secondary market, and it does so in a way that is fair to fans, controlled by rights holders and which harnesses the best in yield management and marketplace science,” says Lawrence Peryer, Lyte’s head of business and corporate development. “Lyte puts control, revenue and insights into the hands of event producers, while providing a simple, safe and affordable fan experience.
“Combined with this funding round, the consortium of entities involved, our name-brand clients and legions of happy fans, Lyte’s platform is changing the face of ticketing while closing the door on the incumbent secondary players.”
“This important company milestone is just the beginning, and our clients and partners know it,” concludes Taylor. “We are creating a category that will challenge and overtake the incumbent secondary ticketing model. That is super-exciting.”
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Ticketmaster ticket exchange goes live as Get Me In! closes
Ticketmaster has completed the process of closing its Seatwave and Get Me In! resale sites and launching its new price-capped ticket exchange.
In a decision welcomed by the broader industry, the company announced in August it was to shutter its dual European secondary ticketing platforms in favour of a price-capped system integrated into the main Ticketmaster site.
“When fans next log into [their account], they’ll see some brand-new features,” explains the company in a blog post announcing the launch. “First up, fans now have the option to sell tickets directly on Ticketmaster with the click of a button.
“Fans now have the option to sell tickets directly on Ticketmaster with the click of a button”
“Fans simply hit ‘sell’ on the tickets they can no longer use, and they’ll be put in front of millions of others to buy and go to the show in their place. When tickets are resold, we’ll cancel them and send new, unique ones to the fan who has bought them. That ensures that all tickets on Ticketmaster are 100% verified and fans will have no concerns about getting in at the door.”
The new ticket exchange joins similar solutions by several Ticketmaster rivals, including See Tickets’ Fan-to-Fan, CTS Eventim’s FanSALE and AXS’s Marketplace in Europe, and the soon-to-launch Ticketek Marketplace in Australia.
“Everything we do is about making the fan experience better,” continues the TM statement. “These changes have been designed and built to make it easier for fans to get into the shows they love.”