Ticketbis founders launch €66.5m VC fund
All Iron Ventures, a Bilbao-based venture-capital firm founded by Ticketbis co-founders Jon Uriarte and Ander Michelena, has launched its first fund, worth €66.5 million, to invest in online marketplaces and other ecommerce businesses in Europe and the Americas.
Uriarte and Michelana founded Ticketbis, a secondary ticketing site which became dominant in Spain, Latin America and Asia, in 2009. The pair sold the company to StubHub in 2016 for a reported €165m.
The new fund, All Iron Ventures I, is one of Spain’s largest-ever ‘first’ fund raises and brings All Iron Ventures’ total investment capacity to around €110m. According to the company, the money has been completely raised from private investors, with no public support from Spanish or European institutions.
“All Iron Ventures partners up with bold founders promoting innovative start-ups”
“As first-time [fund] managers, we are delighted for having been able to close our first fund the way we have,” says Michelena. “We are proud of such an achievement and thankful to our investors for trusting us.”
ALl Iron Ventures is part of the broader All Iron Group, run by co-directors Hugo Fernández-Mardomingo and Diego Recondo, which also includes a publicly listed property company.
“All Iron Ventures partners up with bold founders promoting innovative start-ups. We know what it is to be a founder and empathise with the challenges our partner founders face,” comments Uriarte. “Our commitment and alignment with them are a win-win in terms of collaboration, growth and profitability for them and us.”
Existing All Iron investments include online learning marketplace Preply, electric scooter company Lime, pet care start-up Barkyn and refurbished electronics seller Refurbed.
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The decade in live: 2017
The start of a new year and, perhaps more significantly, a new decade is fast approaching – and while many may be thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve plans and well-meaning 2020 resolutions, IQ is casting its mind back to the most pivotal industry moments of the last ten years.
The memories of a turbulent 2016 were left far behind in 2017, as the concert business enjoyed a record-breaking twelve months, as the year’s gross revenue and number of tickets sold saw 2013 finally knocked off the top spot.
The success of the live business in 2017, however, was somewhat overshadowed by a number of devastating terror attacks, with the Manchester Arena bombing, the shootings at Route 91 Harvest and BPM Festival, the Reina nightclub shooting and other incidents targeting music fans.
In response to the tragedies, the live industry united and made a positive impact, in the form of the One Love Manchester and We are Manchester charity concerts and candlelit vigils and fundraising for victims of the Route 91 Harvest attack.
Elsewhere, the booking agency world continued to consolidate through 2017, with a number of acquisitions, mergers and partnerships while Live Nation welcomed several more promoters, festivals, ticketing agencies and venues to its fast-growing family.
2017 in numbers
The live music business reached new heights in 2017, with the top 100 tours worldwide generating a record US$5.65 billion, up almost 16% from the previous year.
The number of tickets sold throughout the year also saw a notable increase from the year before, climbing 10.4% to 66.8 million, at an average price of almost $4 more per ticket than in 2016, at $84.60.
Eleven tours surpassed the $100m mark in 2017, with U2 topping the year-end charts having generated $316m on their Joshua Tree tour. Guns N’ Roses narrowly missed out on $300m, grossing $292.5m on the Not in this Lifetime tour.
Coldplay came in next, as the band’s A Head Full of Dreams tour made $238m. Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic tour was also successful, grossing just over $200m, whereas Metallica’s WorldWired tour generated $152.8m.
Depeche Mode, Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks and Celine Dion were the other acts whose 2017 tour earnings exceeded $100m.
2017 in brief
A lone gunman attacks New Year’s revellers at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, resulting in the death of 39 people and injuries to a further 70. Two weeks later, four are killed and 12 injured during a shooting at the BPM Festival in the coastal resort of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
AM Only and The Windish Agency rebrand as Paradigm Talent Agency, signalling the next phase of their joint ventures, launched in 2012 and 2015, respectively.
Global asset management firm Providence Equity Partners acquires a 70% stake in Sziget Festival and reveals plans to launch eight to ten branded festivals, with James Barton, former president of electronic music for Live Nation, leading the international expansion.
AEG Live finalises negotiations to acquire New York-based promoter/venue operator The Bowery Presents.
Ticketbis, the multinational resale operation acquired by eBay in May 2016, is rebranded as StubHub, bringing to an end the Ticketbis name across Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Live Nation enters the Middle East’s biggest touring market with the acquisition of a majority stake in Bluestone Entertainment, one of Israel’s leading promoters.
Iron Maiden’s decision to use paperless tickets on the UK leg of The Book of Souls arena tour helps reduce the number of tickets appearing on secondary sites by more than 95%, according to promoter Live Nation.
Live Nation acquires a controlling stake in the UK’s Isle of Wight Festival.
The Australian leg of Adele’s Live 2017 tour makes concert history after playing to more than 600,000 people over eight stadium dates.
Sziget Festival 2017 © László Mudra/Rockstar Photographers
In the biggest primary deal so far for the world’s largest secondary ticketing site, StubHub is named the official ticket seller for Rock in Rio 2017.
Creative Artists Agency increases its investment in the Chinese market via a new alliance with private equity firm CMC Capital Partners.
Luxury Ja Rule-backed boutique event, Fyre Festival, descends into chaos on its first day, with visitors to the Bahamas site comparing conditions to a refugee camp.
22 people, including children, lose their lives after a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena, for which Islamic State terror claims responsibility. The attack targets people leaving the 21,000-cap. venue at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.
Pandora Media announces the sale of Ticketfly to Eventbrite. Despite purchasing the company for $450m less than two years ago, it sells for a package worth $200m.
AEG invests in Immortals, one of the world’s leading esports teams, with professional players in the North American League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Super Smash Bros, Overwatch and Vainglory leagues. The team will now play their Los Angeles tournaments and matches at AEG’s LA Live entertainment district.
The organisers of ILMC announce the launch of the Event Safety and Security Summit (E3S), a one-day meeting focusing on security at live events.
The reality of Fyre Festival © Here_Comes_the_Kingz/Reddit
Helsinki-based Fullsteam Agency acquires Rähinä Live, whose roster includes some of Finland’s biggest hip-hop and pop artists.
Oak View Group, which counts Irving Azoff and Tim Leiweke among its founders, completes its acquisition of Pollstar, adding the US-based concert business magazine to its portfolio of trade titles.
Madison Square Garden Company makes a significant move into the esports sector by acquiring a controlling stake in Counter Logic Gaming.
Paradigm Talent Agency acquires Chicago- and California-based agency Monterey International, including its 14 agents and 200 acts.
Live Nation launches in Brazil with former Time for Fun (T4F) chief entertainment officer Alexandre Faria Fernandes at the helm.
Three quarters of staff at Function(x), the online business founded by former SFX Entertainment CEO Robert Sillerman, are effectively laid off, with the company telling investors it lacks the funds to pay them.
A sovereign wealth fund controlled by the government of Saudi Arabia, says it is forming a new SR10 billion ($2.7bn) investment vehicle in a bid to kick-start the kingdom’s entertainment sector.
Music returns to Manchester Arena as a capacity crowd turn out for We are Manchester, a benefit concert that raises funds for a memorial to the victims of the 22nd of May bombing.
The We are Manchester charity concert drew a full-capacity crowd at the 21,000-cap. arena © Showsec
A gunman kills 58 people and injures a further 546 at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas. Local resident Stephen Paddock targeted the concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.
WME-IMG rebrands as Endeavor, with company assets that include martial- arts promoter, UFC; ad agency, Droga5; Professional Bull Riders; the Miss Universe Organization; Frieze Art Fair; management companies, Dixon Talent and The Wall Group; and joint ventures such as Euroleague Basketball and esports championship ELEAGUE.
Ticketmaster confirms its long-rumoured expansion into Italy. The launch of Ticketmaster Italia, headquartered in Milan, follows the end of the exclusive long-term online partnership in Italy between Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation, and CTS Eventim-owned TicketOne.
After 11 years in East London’s Victoria Park – now exclusive to AEG – Eat Your Own Ears’ Field Day Festival will head to Brockwell Park in South London. Live Nation’s Lovebox and Citadel are also rumoured to be moving to Brockwell Park.
Secondary ticketing websites will, from January 2018, be subject to stringent restrictions on their use of Google AdWords, as the search-engine giant cracks down on ticket resellers’ controversial use of its online advertising platform.
Leading self-service ticketer Eventbrite announces a series of new partnerships, rolling out integrations with events guide The List, festival package provider Festicket, word-of-mouth ticket sales platform Verve, and brand ambassador software Ticketrunner.
Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment since 2010, will remain in his role until at least 2022 after signing a new five-year contract worth up to $9m per annum. Also re-upping are leading execs Kathy Willard, Michael Rowles and Joe Berchtold.
Primary Talent’s Dave Chumbley (1960-2017) picks up his Platinum Endurance Arthur Award at ILMC 25 © ILMC
Who we lost
Peter Rieger, founder of German promoter Peter Rieger Konzertagentur (PRK); Joseph Rascoff, business manager to the Stones, David Bowie, U2, Sting and more; ILMC’s long-time producer Alia Dann Swift; ShowSec International Ltd founder Mick Upton; Dave Chumbley, Primary Talent International director; Mary Cleary, former booker and tour manager; American singer-songwriter Tom Petty; pioneering concert promoter Shmuel Zemach, founder of Zemach Promotions; Australian country music promoter, agent and artist, Rob Potts; Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington; Reading festival founder Harold Pendelton; Washington, DC, promoter Jack Boyle; Live Nation Belgium booker Marianne Dekimpe; rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry.
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StubHub appoints head of int’l to lead growth in Europe
StubHub, the world’s largest secondary ticketing site, has appointed Miguel Giribet Giral as head of international, based out of its Madrid office.
Giribet – whose role was formerly covered on an interim basis by StubHub International’s chief financial officer, Lauren St Clair, and head of business development, Rafa Ortiz – joins the San Francisco-based company from fashion ecommerce business Privalia, where he was chief commercial officer. Prior to Privalia, he was a business consultant, after beginning his career at Siemens VDO Automotive.
He will lead StubHub’s growth outside the US, with oversight of EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions.
StubHub president Sukhinder Singh Cassidy comments: “We are delighted that Miguel is joining the StubHub team. His experience and drive will ensure we continue to lead the industry in helping fans connect to events, safely and securely.”
“Our international business shows the biggest growth potential”
“Our international business shows the biggest growth potential, especially as the live events market itself is becoming more international. Our customers are increasingly prepared to travel across borders to attend an event they want, from an NFL game in London to an Anthony Joshua fight in New York.”
StubHub, owned by eBay, is the most popular ticket marketplace in the world, selling a ticket on average every 1.3 seconds. StubHub expanded into Spain in May 2016 with the acquisition of rival operation Ticketbis, which was dominant in southern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
“I have long admired StubHub’s ability to blend innovation and technology with a complete focus on creating a fan-first experience for millions of customers,” says Giribit, commenting on his appointment. “We have a great team, world-leading partners and an exciting story to tell. It is going to be a hugely exciting time for StubHub in Europe and across the rest of the world.”
France reaffirms anti-secondary law after failed legal challenge
The Constitutional Council (Conseil constitutionnel), the court-like body tasked with upholding the constitutionality of legislation in France, has rejected a legal bid that sought to overturn the country’s anti-secondary ticketing law.
The decision was issued today (14 December) in response to a question prioritaire de constitutionnalité (QPC) disputing the legality of French legislation that prohibits unauthorised ticket touting. France’s law №2012-348 – passed on 12 March 2012 – allows for fines up of up to €30,000 for anyone caught reselling tickets without the permission of the event organiser or rightsholder.
The challenge was brought by two Viagogo companies, Viagogo AG and Viagogo Entertainment, and backed by eBay/StubHub-owned Ticketbis, according to the council’s decision.
QPCs, or priority questions of constitutionality, were introduced by the Sarkozy government in 2008 as a mechanism for challenging legislation targeted at a particular sector or group of individuals.
Successful previous QPCs include an objection to the 3% tax formerly levied on distributed profits, which was struck down as unconstitutional in early 2015, and a legal challenge to then-prime minister Manuel Valls’s controversial plans for new surveillance powers, defeated in October 2016.
“This decision strongly reinforces the French law, which protects consumers, fans, artists and promoters”
Rejecting the secondary ticketers’ argument that to restrict reselling tickets constitutes a “disproportionate breach of freedom of enterprise”, the Constitutional Council’s decision declares that it “must be made possible to combat […] an artificial increase in the price of tickets”, and further notes that resale is only prohibited if it “takes place without the authorisation of the producer, organiser of the owner of the rights” to the show.
As the law “does not violate any other right or freedom guaranteed by the constitution, it must be declared [constitutional],” it concludes.
The decision was welcomed by promoters’ association Prodiss, to which Viagogo is believed to some hundreds of thousands of euros in fines for violations of law 348.
Malika Séguineau, the association’s director, says: “This decision strongly reinforces the French law. The law protects consumers, fans, artists and promoters against the risks posed by the illicit resale of tickets.
“We welcome today’s decision – especially as Prodiss, alongside several promoters, have in parallel filed a criminal action against Viagogo, for which the judge is soon to be appointed. Our legal actions go alongside our campaign, Fan Pas Gogo.”
‘It’s time for transparency’: Ex-StubHub execs debut anti-tout platform
A group of senior former Ticketbis/StubHub staff have launched Tracer, a blockchain-powered ticketing solution with which they hope to “shake up the ticketing industry” to make it fairer for artists and fans – both of whom, they say, are “victims of a highly abusive resale market”.
From humble beginnings in Spain, Ticketbis grew to become a global ticket resale platform with a presence in 47 countries, culminating with its acquisition by eBay’s StubHub in May 2016 for a reported US$165m. Tracer CEO Jorge Díaz Largo, who joined Ticketbis as marketing director in 2011 and rose to become VP of product and marketing, says the platform quickly turned into “a marketplace for ticket touts”, which “wasn’t the original vision”.
“We were naïve,” Díaz tells IQ. “We wanted to help normal people who were no longer able to go to a concert and wanted to get rid of their ticket. However, in every market we [Ticketbis] were in – the UK, France, Germany, Latin America – it was a marketplace for ticket touts, where touts controlled the tickets and set the prices.”
Díaz is joined at Tracer by Ticketbis alumni David Di Bartolomeo – formerly head of global paid performance at Ticketbis, and now Tracer’s head of marketing – and head of business development Carmen Navarro Lado, who is StubHub’s ex-head of communications in Europe.
Other Tracer staff include COO Alberto Martínez, the former general manager of airline marketing start-up EveryMundo, and Eduard Korkhov and Andrei Lebedev, the founders of corporate reputation management company Polecat, who serve as CTO and head of operations, Moscow, respectively.
Unlike the traditional secondary ticketing platforms – where resellers call the shots – Tracer empowers artists and promoters, using blockchain technology to ensure they remain in control of the ticket at every stage of its digital lifecycle, says Díaz.
“What [the big resale sites] aren’t saying is that almost all their inventory is controlled by no more than 50 ticket touts, who have access to millions of tickets,” he explains.
“These major resellers account for 80–90% of the revenue of these companies, so their main mission is to take care of the brokers – they’re the real client, not the ticket buyer – with specific people, dedicated account managers, taking care of these sellers, incentivising them to sell more, helping them get more inventory…
“That business model is not going to go far. If there’s a way [for sellers] to control the tickets, that’s bad for buyers – who often end up paying many times over face value.”
“If there’s a way for resellers to control the tickets, that’s bad for buyers”
The solution, says Díaz, is the blockchain: the decentralised ‘distributed ledger’ technology, used by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, which serves as a permanent, public, immutable log of all data and transactions on a particular database, or (block)chain.
While there’s no shortage of ticketing companies already utilising the permanent, transparent nature of the blockchain to eliminate ticket fraud and unauthorised resale – Blockparty and Tari being among the most recent – Díaz says he “doesn’t like to focus” on the blockchain aspect of Tracer. “For some other companies, it’s a way of getting money – they do an ICO [initial coin offering, or token sale] and suddenly they’re a public company, with investors and a token whose price is going up and down…
“Don’t get me wrong – I like Aventus, Crypto.tickets and lots of these other start-ups, and it’s very exciting, all these people bringing this innovation into the industry is fantastic news. But we have no plans to do an ICO, and no plans to sell any tokens. We’re focusing more on the problem the industry has, and how that can be solved with blockchain.”
Díaz admits Tracer is, like all new solutions, faced with certain barriers to adoption, including its reliance on 100% mobile ticketing – which, while allowing promoters and artists to restrict resale, as well as enabling new functionality such as discounts and special promotions, makes tickets unavailable to those without a mobile phone.
He says, however, that it’s only “a matter of a time, and a very short time” before paper tickets are a thing of the past – as demonstrated at the recent Cambridge Club festival in the UK, whose ticket agency, Hey Tickets, used Tracer’s Smart Ticket infrastructure for ticket sales. Nine thousand Smart Tickets – which generate a dynamic QR code to be scanned at entry – were sold for the Cambridge Club, in the first time blockchain and dynamic QR had been used at a major music festival (and with a largely middle-aged audience).
On a grander scale, Díaz hopes Tracer will be the catalyst for “big paradigm shift” in the live music industry – one that will see the balance of power shift from major ticketing companies towards artists and their representatives.
“Who has the power now? Big primary ticketing companies,” he explains. “Artists and independent promoters take the money, but they don’t know the exact number of tickets sold. We want to move that power from ticketing companies to artists… once they have that power, they can sell tickets wherever they want.
“We want tickets to be sold via as many channels as possible. They won’t only be sold on one website – there’s nothing like that in any other industry. There are lots of channels – news websites, social media – where tickets can be sold but they’re not now.”
“It’s over. We have the control now”
“By opening up distribution – instead of having data siloed by the big ticketing companies – we’ll give the data back to the artist,” he continues. “And that’s where it should be: with the artist, not the ticketing company.”
A decentralised, open-distribution approach is the right one for artists and promoters, both of whom would sell more tickets while dictating the rules around their sale, says Díaz. “At the end of the day, it would be good for the big ticketing companies and promoters [which own ticketing platforms], too,” he adds, “as it would make them better realise the value of the artists.
With no ICO dollars to speak of, Tracer is funding its plans for adoption – initially targeting Europe and Latin America, “where the secondary industry is more scrutinised than in the US”, says Navarro – with a combination of private-equity and music-industry investment.
Tracer’s investors include several “well-known record label execs, managers and music-industry insiders,” including LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, she tells IQ, as well as Pillar, a Boston-based venture-capital firm. Díaz says the company has raised “a little over” US$1m.
“With Tracer, I want to power all tickets,” says Díaz, outlining his masterplan Tracer. “I want to be the operating system of tickets: If we say that tickets can be sold via the same channels as today – Ticketmaster or See Tickets, for example – but that artists, independent promoters and venues have access to this operating system, they can then define the rules of their tickets.
“I understand wanting to keep everything in house, but it’s time for transparency and openness. Whether it’s GDPR giving power to consumers, or Spotify and Netflix giving power to creators, there’s not a single industry that hasn’t moved in that direction in the past 20 years. Transparency is good for everyone.”
As for the secondary market, Díaz says he has one message for ticket touts and platforms like his former employer. “We’re inviting promoters and artists to join forces with and us and send a message,” he concludes. “‘Your business is obsolete. It’s over. We have the control now.’”
StubHub makes big gains in Q1 2017
StubHub’s turnover grew 18% in the first three months of 2017, reveal newly released first-quarter (Q1) results by parent company eBay.
Revenues topped US$210 million, aided by “strength in international markets with the integration of the Ticketbis acquisition“, as well as new secondary ticketing agreements with the Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays, while the value of sales, or gross merchandise volume (GMV), grew 6% year on year to $916m.
As a whole, eBay – comprising its flagship marketplace business, StubHub and its classified ads platform – increased revenue 4%, to $2.2bn, and GMV 2%, to $20.9bn.
“The first quarter was a strong start to the year, with accelerating growth in active buyers, revenue and our core US business,” comments eBay president and CEO Devin Wenig. “We are on the right path as we continue to evolve our shopping platform for consumers, leverage our technology advantages and market a sharpened eBay brand globally.”
The business model of StubHub, the world’s largest resale site, is increasingly moving towards the less controversial primary ticketing sector, with the company earlier this month signing a major primary deal with Brazil’s Rock in Rio.
Italian ticketers hit with €1.7m in fines
The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has levied fines totalling €1.7 million on five ticket agencies.
AGCM’s investigation dates back to October, when consumer group Altroconsumo asked the quango to look into allegations primary seller TicketOne was passing tickets directly to the secondary market.
It found that while TicketOne, owned by Germany’s CTS Eventim, is “contractually bound to adopt anti-touting measures, [it] did not take appropriate steps to prevent bulk buying through specialist software, nor has it tried to limit multiple purchases or set up a system of ex-post controls to cancel them”.
“Traders did not provide adequate information concerning the tickets, including their face value, the row and the seat”
For violating article 20(2) of the Italian Consumer Code, TicketOne has been fined €1m.
Additionally, four secondary ticketing sites – Viagogo, MyWayTicket, Live Nation’s Seatwave and eBay/StubHub’s Ticketbis – have been hit with a collective €700,000 fine for their failure to provide complete ticket information to customers “concerning several essential elements which potential buyers need to make their transactional decisions”.
“In particular, the traders would not provide adequate information concerning the ticket features, including their face value, the row and the seat, as well as consumer rights in case of the event’s cancellation,” reads a statement from AGCM. “Moreover, the websites failed to clarify that these traders were mere intermediaries on the secondary market.”
StubHub rebrands Ticketbis
Ticketbis, the multinational secondary ticketing giant acquired by eBay last May, has been rebranded worldwide as StubHub, bringing to an end the Ticketbis name in the dozens of countries, primarily in Europe, Asia and Latin America, where it formerly had a presence.
The renaming, effective from today, “represents the latest step in the integration process between the two companies”, reads a statement from StubHub.
“StubHub is making solid progress in our goal to integrate Ticketbis into our platform, and to give consumers access to the world’s largest catalogue of live events,” comments StubHub president Scott Cutler (pictured).
“This phase marks a significant step in introducing Ticketbis customers to the StubHub brand and extending to them access to the performers, artists and athletes they love”
“This phase marks a significant step in introducing Ticketbis customers to the StubHub brand, and extending to them access to the performers, artists and athletes they love, no matter where they live or where they want to travel.”
StubHub, acquired by eBay in 2007, last week revealed it earned record revenues in the fourth quarter of 2016, increasing turnover to US$279 million. With the acquisition of Ticketbis it cemented its position as the world’s largest secondary ticketing site, gaining a lucrative foothold in the Asia-Pacific region.
In related news, The Canadian Press reports StubHub is planning to increase in presence in Canada – its second-largest market, after the US – with a more localised website, including a French-language option to better serve Quebeckers.
Majority of Italians ‘disagree with touting ban’
Nearly two-thirds of Italians believe tickets purchased tickets are personal property over which they should have full control, according to new research commissioned by Ticketbis and released just days after the first No Secondary Ticketing conference in Milan.
A recent survey of Italian consumers, conducted by Apco Insight on behalf of the secondary ticket agency, found 63% believe the purchase of a ticket constitutes ownership – with more than half (51%) of respondents also saying they should have the right to resell unwanted tickets to any willing buyers.
The survey also revealed 26% of Italians have used secondary ticketing sites to buy tickets for sold-out events, with that number rising to 40% among 18–24-year-olds and 47% among 25–34s.
Italy late last year passed a bill outlawing the sale of tickets by anyone other than the event’s promoter and authorised resellers.
“We encourage policymakers to make every necessary step to correct regulation that will be harmful for Italian consumers”
Ticketbis co-founder and CEO Ander Michelena says the responses demonstrate the government was wrong to “hastily” outlaw ticket resale under pressure from media.
“As this research shows, the resale of tickets is a complex issue that needs to be understood in all its aspects,” he comments. “The legislation promoted by the Ministry of Culture was a hasty decision which will push the resale of tickets to the black market…
“We encourage policymakers to make every necessary step to correct regulation that will be harmful for Italian consumers while creating a climate of mistrust for start-ups and those working in the tech sector.”
Ticketbis was sold to StubHub last May.
Twickets to launch in Spain with Doctor Music
UK-based face-value ticket exchange Twickets is to launch in Spain after securing financial backing from Marcus Russell and Alec McKinlay of Ignition Management (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Catfish and the Bottlemen) and Neo Sala, the founder of Spain’s leading concert promoter, Doctor Music.
Russell, McKinlay and Sala have invested in the company as part of a funding round, opening today, on crowdfunding site Seedrs, which has so far raised more than £126,000, of a target of £700,003. Also reinvesting is Twickets’ original founding board, which includes FanFair Alliance founders Ian McAndrew and Harry Magee, along with Richard Griffiths of Modest! Management (One Direction, Olly Murs), Chrysalis Records founder Chris Wright CBE, former EMI and BPI chairman Tony Wadsworth CBE and Crystal Palace FC’s owner and chairman, Steve Parish.
The new Spanish operation, due to launch before the end of 2016, will be a joint venture between Twickets and Doctor Music. Sala – who said at the Live & Ticketing Summit in September he “wish[ed] we had Twickets in Spain” – comments: “I have been looking forward to the day that a service like Twickets launches in Spain to put a stop to touts who profit from everyone else’s hard work and take fans’ hard-earned money…
“I am pleased to be partnering with Richard, and his team and look forward to Twickets Spain launching soon.”
Twickets has also become the official ticket resale partner of south London-based Crystal Palace football club. Parish says: “I was really happy to invest in something that seemed an ethical way of solving the problem of secondary ticketing. It soon dawned on us that partnering with Twickets was a fantastic opportunity for the club – to make sure that when supporters couldn’t go to a match, they could get their tickets to other supporters.”
Twickets founder Richard Davies comments: “Our second round of investment is an exciting opportunity to further expand the business internationally, and welcoming top industry players like Neo Sala, Marcus Russell and Alec McKinley into the Twickets family is a great development. As well as this, investing through Seedrs is an opportunity for fans to be a part of our continued growth.
“We are also incredibly proud to become the first face value resale platform to represent a Premiership football club. Working with Steve Parish and the staff at Crystal Palace to facilitate fair resale of match tickets between club members is an exciting and important step for Twickets.
“We are looking forward to launching in Spain and working with our new partners at Doctor Music to offer Spanish music fans an alternative, ethical method of purchasing concert tickets.”