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Ticketing platform Dice expands to Germany

Ticketing and discovery platform Dice has announced its expansion to Germany.

Dice now has more than 350 shows now available in-app in Germany, including concerts with Bicep, Little Simz, Years & Years and Marc Rebillet.

To support its growth, Dice will partner with artists, promoters and venues across the country, including Goodlive Artists, Zart Agency and Hamburg’s Uebel & Gefährlich.

“We invest heavily in making it easy for fans to buy tickets, discover more amazing events and invite their friends,” says Dice founder and CEO Phil Hutcheon. “Our mission is to get people out more and I’m proud that Dice is partnering with the brilliant Goodlive Artists and Zart from launch.”

Dice has become the primary ticketing partner for hundreds of Goodlive Artists’ events across major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Munich, already teaming on sold-out shows with PinkPantheress, Fred Again.. and Marc Rebillet.

It’s all about bringing artists and fans together as well as bringing new fans to artists”

Dice will also work with Berlin-based music promoter Zart Agency, promoter for acts such as Sam Fender and Ben Howard, ono events such as the Sacred Ground Festival.

“The love for music, technology and innovation is what excites us most about Dice,” say Max Wentzler, managing partner, and Hauke Steinhof, MD at Zart Agency. “It’s all about bringing artists and fans together as well as bringing new fans to artists. The Dice team has the same spirit that Zart Agency has. The Waiting List is the best answer against the secondary ticket market we’ve ever seen.”

In addition, upcoming concerts at Hamburg’s 900/200-cap Uebel & Gefahrlich by the likes of Animal Collective, Ibeyi and Ben Klock are now available via the Dice app.

“Life is about creating memories and nothing beats the energy you get from a live show”

Germany is Dice’s sixth global market, following successful launches in the UK, France, Italy, Spain and the US.

With Germany being a key market for growth, the company has opened its new office in Berlin with four senior individuals focusing on venues and promoter partnerships. It plans to recruit more team members over the coming months, with 60 in place by the end of the year.

“People have asked for years what would it be like if everyone lived their lives digitally,” adds Hutcheon. “Well, with the pandemic, we just experienced it and it’s not good. Life is about creating memories and nothing beats the energy you get from a live show. We make it easy to get people away from screens and into shows.”

Dice recently bolstered its leadership team with the appointments of Falko Mortiboys as VP of fan experience, Ali McCloud as VP of partner relations, Antony Jackson as head of expansion, Europe and Leon Sherman as head of artist partnerships, UK & Europe.

 


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DEAG sales soar, return to pre-pandemic levels

Deutsche Entertainment (DEAG) has reported a return to form in the first quarter of 2022, with sales returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The Berlin-based live entertainment group generated sales of around €31 million in the first three months of 2022 – up 2,700% from Q1 2021 when operating sales were €1.1m and reported sales were €4m.

Sales in Q1 of this year were even higher than the first quarter of 2018 (€27m) and the first quarter of 2019 (€25.5m).

According to the promoter and ticketing agency, the increase is largely down to a number of events in all of the company’s national markets (Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark).

Notable events for DEAG in Q1 2022 included concerts by Simply Red and Texas in the UK and Bonnie Tyler in Switzerland, the international literature festival lit.COLOGNE, electronic festival “Mayday – 30 Years” in Germany, and Dita von Teese’s burlesque tour in the UK.

In addition, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) in Q1 came to around €2.8m, up from €2.4m in the same period of last year.

“Finally! we can shift into a forward gear operationally once again and do what we burn for: to host exciting events”

For the first time in DEAG’s history, the ticketing segment was profitable in the traditionally weaker first quarter – a growth which is expected to continue throughout the year.

Overall, sales for the financial year of 2022 are expected to multiply year-on-year and significantly exceed pre-corona levels, says the company.

“Finally! Following the paralysis of the entire live entertainment industry caused by corona, we can shift into a forward gear operationally once again and do what we burn for: to host exciting events,” comments Prof. Peter L.H. Schwenkow, CEO of DEAG.

“The audience reactions and our first quarter figures show that we are extremely successful with this. We increased our operating sales by a factor of twenty-eight, a result that we owe entirely to our operational strength.

“Our EBITDA is also clearly positive. The Covid-19-related conditions have since eased further, so we will be burning off event fireworks in the coming quarters. For example, we will stage concerts with stars such as KISS, Ed Sheeran in the UK, Iron Maiden, Zucchero, Die Toten Hosen, Anna Netrebko and Die Ärzte, as well as open-air festivals such as Nature One, Belladrum and Sion sous les étoiles. We are excellently positioned for the restart of the industry. In 2022 as a whole, we will massively increase our sales and even significantly exceed the pre-corona level.”

DEAG says it has already sold more than 6.3 million tickets for events in its core markets for the coming quarters. On the basis of ticket sales and the “bulging event pipeline,” the company expects its upward trajectory to carry on in 2023.

 


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ILMC 34: Inside ticketing’s new normal

International ticketing executives have given a mixed picture on live music markets around the world as the business bids to pick up where it left off pre-pandemic.

ILMC’s Ticketing: All change please! session heard from Ticketmaster UK’s Sarah Slater, Marcia Titley of Eventim Norway & Sweden, John Talbot of AXS Europe, Dice’s Amy Oldham and TicketSwap’s James Fleury, with Michael Hosking of Singapore-based Midas Promotions offering a promoter’s perspective.

Quizzed on the state of play by chair Richard Howle of The Ticket Factory, the panel reported contrasting fortunes to date.

“In Scandinavia, restrictions were lifted in December in Denmark, in January in Norway, and February in Sweden, so we’re about three, four months in,” noted Titley. “When the restrictions were lifted, ticket sales jumped, which was great, we were all thrilled. And then they kind of plateaued.”

“We’re making progress, but it’s slower than I think we all had hoped”

While observing a week-by-week improvement, she added that Covid has appeared to have triggered a change in purchasing habits, with a shift towards buying tickets later in the day.

“They’re waiting, and I think we can all understand why,” she said. “I think we’re all holding our breath a little bit wondering if some new variant’s going to pop up tomorrow. And shows aren’t selling out, so that sense of urgency isn’t there.

“One thing we’re starting to see in Scandinavia as well is uncertainty if shows and festivals are actually going to happen. Just recently, last week, one of our biggest festivals in Norway had to cancel because of Covid complications… So this has also affected consumer behaviour.

“Also, I think we’re trying to find ways to get people to go back to live. I think people have got a little bit stuck on their couches and we need to try to find a way to get them to remember what live was all about. If we can get them into the shows then we will be able to build up that kind of credibility in the market. We’re making progress, but it’s slower than I think we all had hoped.”

“One of the greatest impacts of Covid is it has made people, generally, quite lethargic”

Citing sold-out stadium shows by Justin Bieber in Singapore and Malaysia, Hosking stressed that demand was visible for certain artists, but returned to the theme of audience lethargy.

“The real test will be maybe the B and C-listers,” he offered. “I think one of the greatest impacts of Covid is it has made people, generally, quite lethargic. The old days of having to do everything immediately seems to have waned. And of course, Asia’s not one country, it is several countries and there are still very different restrictions about touring. But Justin is living proof that if the people want you bad enough they’ll go out and buy tickets.”

Talbot, who joined AXS last summer, said the business had faced an “existential threat” and attempted to put its travails into perspective.

“To use a hospitalisation analogy, we were hit by a truck and now we are in the recovery from that period, and it’s not going to happen overnight. We’ve got a cost of living crisis. People can see the alternatives to going out – because they were denied so long, they’ve got other options and they can entertain themselves in different ways.

“We do need to teach the market that going out, congregating, seeing live events is a really, really important part of our culture and they should come back to it. But those challenges are nowhere near as existential as what we were facing only a matter of months ago, so I think there’s a lot of reason to be very cheerful.”

“Half of our customer services activity at the moment is reuniting customers with the tickets they bought in 2019 and 2020”

He added: “We’re finding that a lot of our best customers are holding four or five tickets to shows that are yet to play off… So how do you sell to the market new events, when they’ve already got commitments, and sometimes they’ve forgotten that they’re holding these tickets?

“Half of our customer services activity at the moment is reuniting customers with the tickets they bought in 2019 and 2020. So when that clog disappears, as it will, I think that’s when we can really start to see new on sales not being buffeted by those market forces.”

Slater and Oldham suggested the state of affairs in the UK was more favourable across the board, in part, due to being able to press ahead with a partial festival season in 2021.

Slater, who received the Golden Ticketer gong at the 2022 Arthur Awards, pointed to Ticketmaster’s stellar business in the final quarter of last year.

“We were really able to capture that pent-up demand that the pandemic brought,” she said. “Q4 was absolutely huge: We had Reading & Leeds sell out; Creamfields sell out; we’ve got new sites for festivals; there are lots of tickets out there, but we’re selling all our tickets as well.

“We’re really positive; we were lucky that we got the summer [2021] in the UK, so we’re in a slightly different position to everyone else.”

“People are demanding to have choice and flexibility now when it comes to buying tickets”

“The market’s certainly buoyant,” added Oldham, Dice’s VP of content, Europe. “We had over a million people go out in London last month, which is extraordinary. The place where it’s the most buzzy is with emerging talent – the waitlist for artists like Fred Again is astronomical. People are buying really early because they’ve got the protection of knowing that they can give their ticket back if they can’t go.”

James Fleury of price-capped ‘ethical’ ticket marketplace TicketSwap said the Amsterdam-based firm had already twice broken company records in the first four months of 2022, and backed up Oldham’s point on flexibility.

“People are demanding to have choice and flexibility now when it comes to buying tickets,” he said. “Buying a ticket anymore isn’t necessarily a commitment to attend that specific event. It is for the top four or five artists that I really love, but for the other artists where we maybe like one single or a couple of tracks… I think it’s important that we also promote that flexibility.

“Our challenge this year as a company is to educate both fans, but also partners – promoters and festivals – about why having that choice and flexibility is important on the fans’ side.”

 


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Dice boosts leadership team with senior hires

Ticketing and discovery platform Dice has bolstered its leadership team with four senior appointments.

Falko Mortiboys joins as VP of fan experience, Ali McCloud is made VP of partner relations, Antony Jackson is named head of expansion, Europe and Leon Sherman becomes head of artist partnerships, UK & Europe.

The company says the new hires highlights its commitment to scaling its offering into new markets, deepening its partner network and using technology and data to create a better live experience for artists and fans.

“Ali, Antony, Falko and Leon are great leaders who I’m confident will play an integral role in supercharging the growth of our platform”

“I’m very grateful to be working with such talented people at Dice and we spend a lot of time making sure we hire the right people,” says Dice CEO and founder Phil Hutcheon. “Ali, Antony, Falko and Leon are great leaders who I’m confident will play an integral role in supercharging the growth of our platform.”

London-based Mortiboys, who was previously director of data insights & CRM at Manchester United, is tasked with expanding Dice’s user experience globally, using research, data and insights to grow the fan community and deepen their engagement with the platform.

McCloud will work on growing the company’s network of venues, promoters and artists, with a focus on building long-term relationships with strategic live entertainment partners across the world. Based in New York, McCloud has previously held senior positions at ticketing companies including Eventbrite, Ticketfly and Ticketmaster.

Jackson will be responsible for deepening the company’s presence in its existing European markets as well as helping Dice break into new cities and countries. He joins from San Francisco-based micro-mobility company Spin. Prior to that, he was responsible for growing and expanding Deliveroo’s virtual brands concept globally.

Sherman makes the switch from SoundCloud, where he was global editorial director. He will be tasked with making the Dice platform indispensable for artists. He is a former head of marketing at global media and festival organisation Afropunk, and was also at Metropolis Music as a promoter and campaigns manager.

 


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Ticketmaster enters South Africa

Ticketmaster is expanding to South Africa, opening a new headquarters in Cape Town.

Sporting teams, artists, promoters, festivals and venues will be able to take full advantage of Ticketmaster’s suite of products and digital ticketing tools.

The official announcement follows Ticketmaster’s highly successful on-sale for Justin Bieber’s Justice World Tour, the first-ever major international tour to sell all tickets online in South Africa, and the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 on sale which is set to deliver the country’s first-ever 100% digital sporting event.

“As a popular stop for the world’s biggest artists and major international sporting events, South Africa is a natural choice for us,” says Mark Yovich, president of Ticketmaster.

“As a popular stop for the world’s biggest artists and major international sporting events, South Africa is a natural choice”

“Our unparalleled technology and continued investment in innovation will enable our South African team to provide the best ticketing experience to event organisers, venues and fans across the country.”

Justin Van Wyk, managing director of Ticketmaster South Africa, says: “Our local team of experts have been living and breathing live events for 20+ years and are ready to bring their industry-wide knowledge coupled with the world’s largest ticket marketplace to clients and fans here.

“As a country rapidly adopting digital technology, South African fans are sure to embrace Ticketmaster’s industry-leading digital ticketing innovations.”

Ticketmaster’s move into South Africa brings the company’s operations to 31 countries worldwide.


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FEAT welcomes tougher resale legislation

The Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT) has given a cautious welcome to the news that the EU has reached a provisional political agreement on the Digital Services Act (DSA), designed to ensure secondary ticketing marketplaces act responsibly.

The text was agreed on Saturday (23 April) in Brussels, after a marathon 16 hours of discussions between policy-makers.

The DSA contains is expected to include regulation meaning that ticket touts will only be able to list tickets after providing essential information, which marketplaces must make efforts to verify. Secondary marketplaces will also be obliged to conduct random checks for tickets sold illegally, while measures designed to panic buyers, such as pop-ups claiming several people are viewing the same ticket, will be banned.

Additionally, search engines such as Google are understood to face new responsibilities.

“We hope the new requirements for vetting traders and publishing basic information about the seller will enable fans and event organisers to make informed decisions”

“We cautiously welcome news of measures to be placed on secondary ticketing marketplaces to clean up the Wild West in which they have operated so far,” says FEAT director Sam Shemtob. “The devil will be in the detail, but we hope the new requirements for vetting traders and publishing basic information about the seller will enable fans and event organisers to make informed decisions.”

FEAT has spent two years engaging with the EU over the DSA, culminating in arranging an open letter signed by more than 130 representatives from across Europe’s live sector, calling for the EU to introduce tougher laws to combat online ticket touting.

The text of the DSA will need to be finalised at technical level, before both Parliament and Council give their formal approval. It will come into force 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal. Big Tech firms will then have four months to prepare for the rules, while companies with fewer than 45 million users will have 15 months or until 1 January 2024.

 


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Music Venue Trust confirms Twickets partnership

The UK’s Music Venue Trust (MVT) has confirmed a partnership with capped ticket resale marketplace Twickets.

Established in 2011, Twickets works with more than 300 live entertainment partners in the UK including venues, artists, promoters, festivals and ticketing companies.

“We are delighted to become a partner of MVT,” says Twickets founder Richard Davies. “This is a key development for us as it further embeds the business as the legitimate face of resale, working to bring fairness and transparency to event-goers everywhere.

“Our goal is always to improve the ticket buying experience”

“Our goal is always to improve the ticket buying experience, and we look forward to collaborating with all members of MVT to prevent blatant profiteering in the secondary ticket market, which not only harms fans but damages the industry as a whole.”

A charitable organisation, the MVT was founded in January 2014 to help protect, secure and improve music venues in the UK.

Mark Davyd, MVT founder and CEO, adds: “We are really pleased to welcome Twickets as one of MVT’s partners. Their mission to enable fans to resell tickets they can no longer use for the price they paid or less aligns well with MVT’s goals to keep tickets out of the hands of touts and in the hands of genuine grassroots gig going fans. Customers can buy from Twickets with the reassurance that they are supporting grassroots music venues across the UK.”

 


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The new wave of marketing innovation

As a new wave of privacy regulations makes consumer targeting much less efficient than before, here, Berlin-based events and digital services solution Future Demand explains why interest-centric marketing is the future – and promoters can take full advantage…

The last 10 years in digital marketing were driven by ever-improving targeting options. Lookalike audiences and retargeting enabled a super-fast, convenient, and easy way of making sure ads were seen by the right people. On the other hand, the data-driven ad-tech industry did very little to help marketeers create better copy and content.

Driven by a new wave of privacy regulations (from GDPR to Apple’s ATT) promoters now see a substantial decrease in the effectiveness of their targeting options. Now, they’re starting to regret spending 10 years improving only 50% of what drives campaign efficacy (user targeting) and ignoring the other 50% (content).

It’s time to have a look at why content is more important than ever before.

Content is the future
Marketing used to be essentially people-focused. The ad-tech industry measured and tracked individuals and tried to understand them. For many industries this worked great, much better than anything before. It worked so well, in fact, that whole industries were built on it. The D2C trend around companies like Dollar Shave Club or Casper was fuelled by direct response ads on Facebook through lookalike audiences and retargeting campaigns.

Against the backdrop of expanding privacy regulations, the future now points to the centralisation of a few big platforms. Platforms big enough to own enough in-platform user data (think Amazon, or gaming giants like Epic Games) will be able to serve ads and convert users directly within their platforms. Eric Seufert summarised the development by the term “content fortresses”.

However, the way the industry is currently set up, this isn’t a tenable solution for promoters (and many other companies) as they lack the content usage of users to gain enough insights into people’s interests and serve targeted ads.


So, what about promoters?
For promoters, targeting has always been more difficult because taste in music is much harder to grasp and describe. A concert is in most cases a one-time happening, making it near impossible to have enough time, iteration cycles and budget to get into the sweet spot of the advertising feedback loop. Promoters, therefore, reverted to traditional segmentation methods, relying on socio-demographic data to cluster audiences and fans. Unfortunately, this works even less.

Note the famous example of Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne. Both are born in the same year, have a comparable income, can be located to London, and have the same gender. But their music tastes may be completely different indeed. Traditional segmentation features like age, gender, postcode etc. do little to help you decide who to target for a specific show or event.

What’s next?
Netflix was one of the first to focus only on people’s interests to better describe the diversity in their user base. Like Netflix users, concert-goers can be interested in a symphony concert with a famous French female violinist but also in the next upcoming metal wunderkind playing his or her first gig in the small club next door. The obvious answer for promoters is to design systems that only focus on interest and to cluster based on fans’ interests. The powerful ad networks of today enable targeting those interests.

Knowing why people buy tickets gives promoters an edge over big platforms. As they get more independent from ticketing and ad platforms, switching between them becomes easier. If you know why people are interested and what message they need to see to purchase a ticket or subscribe to an offer, you can decide on which platform to focus on.

What to do about it?

Marketeers must shift their focus towards understanding interests. It enables better targeting and the possibility to match creative content to targeting criteria – all automatically. It increases independence and enhances the speed at which promoters can adopt new and upcoming platforms.

Interest centric marketing will be one of the most important strategic levers for marketeers who do not own a content fortress. Many industries need to speed up their efforts to catch up and rework their whole ad-tech stack. Promoters can now finally leverage their past disadvantage (very, very diverse content) into a powerful advantage. The more diverse the content, the better the understanding of fans tastes and interests.

Learn more about interest-centric marketing here.

 


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The Ticket Factory unveils Secutix partnership

The NEC Group’s ticketing business The Ticket Factory has announced a 100% mobile ticketing solution as part of a new strategic partnership with technology-led provider Secutix.

The move will see Utilita Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena – two of NEC Group’s leading venues – become the first arenas in the UK to introduce blockchain mobile ticketing technology.

The new service, branded the Ticket Factory Wallet, is powered by Secutix’s mobile blockchain ticketing solution TIXNGO – will see The Ticket Factory significantly reduce its use of paper tickets to create more eco-friendly and sustainable events. The new solution also offers enhanced security measures for customers to safely store, transfer, sell or buy digital tickets.

“Our new, fully-integrated mobile ticketing system is a massive step towards revolutionising the user experience for our fans across the UK,” says Richard Howle, director of ticketing at The Ticket Factory. “By partnering with Secutix and adopting a digital-first approach, we’ll be able to get to know our audiences better, improve the customer journey and deliver more sustainable events.”

Howle will chair ILMC’s annual ticketing panel – Ticketing: All change please! – on Thursday, 28 April.

“This partnership marks the first time a UK arena group has adopted mobile blockchain ticketing across all its venues”

“As one of the leading national ticketing agents, being agile and flexible to our clients’ needs is incredibly important, so we’re proud to have moved quickly and efficiently to introduce such transformational change that will deliver real value to organisers and promoters alike,” he adds.

By digitising its audience, the new Wallet will allow The Ticket Factory to become increasingly data-led, providing it with deeper insights into the behaviour of ticket buyers across the UK. It made its official debut for sold-out shows by Royal Blood and Sam Fender at Utilita Arena Birmingham over the weekend.

“We’re looking forward to working with Richard and his team,” adds Andy Duckworth, Secutix senior sales manager. “This partnership marks the first time a UK arena group has adopted mobile blockchain ticketing across all its venues. Their fans will now experience a simpler and more secure way to receive, share and use their tickets.

“A solution that works for both fans and live event organisers, we’re delighted to be working with our partners at The Ticket Factory to bring this to life.”

 


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Platinumlist powers through the pandemic

The pandemic has brought a lot of changes to the events industry worldwide and triggered a reset button for many in the ticketing industry. Here, we catch up with MD Vassiliy Anatoli to find out how Dubai-headquarterd ticketing platform Platinumlist has weathered the pandemic.

We had a very successful Q1 of 2020 that helped us a lot with the rest of the troubled year. We noticed that despite the pandemic, many attractions kept operating and that is what we focused on whilst there were no events.

Previously, in 2018, we have entered into an OTA (online travel agency) sector and started selling attractions along with the events. This has helped us a lot in 2020. Most major OTAs have slashed budgets and we have become the number one OTA attractions seller locally. This has yet boosted our OTA division which has now grown three times in revenue and continues to do so every year.

The events were only stopped for approximately four months in the UAE and for over a year in Saudi Arabia. Despite this, we have managed to have a healthy break even at the end of 2020.

“The UAE resumed events in full swing by September 2021, which has catapulted our revenues”

2021 has started well but was swiftly cut off by another spike in cases locally which halted the industry for another four months.
However, by March 2021, Saudi started making plans and we have won the tender for the Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021 and many other major projects such as Rotana Concerts, Evolution Exhibition, Museum of Happiness, and Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale.

Finally, the UAE resumed events in full swing by September 2021, which has catapulted our revenues. Another major win was the 2021 Indian Premier League and ICC World Cup which has sold over 350,000 tickets. The Gulf football, UAE Pro League, has resumed its operations at the same time around August 2021.

We were very lucky to be able to retain our full technical team past the pandemic. The work of adding more products and refining the existing functionality has not stopped. We have ventured into online events and streaming briefly but quickly understood that it’s not our future. The plan over the pandemic was to increase our functionality set and launch with a big major product by the end pandemic.

“We are actively looking for partners worldwide to enter new markets”

Staying true to our commitment, we are about to introduce a SAAS solution that is aimed at empowering small to medium organisers to build their own events and manage ticket sales from start to finish. Currently its in Beta mode, but will be launched fully with map configuration at the end of Q2.

Moreover, the Upsells or Ticket Add-ons functionality was also launched, adding value to the users’ ticket purchases and at the same time increasing the revenue of the organisers.

Another major highlight is the launch of the Platinumlist App on IOS and Android, which immediately ranked 5th on the Appstore upon launch and has now become the platform of choice of over 450,000 downloads combined IOS Android.

Higher revenue has increased our profitability, which allows us to continue to reinvest in daring projects such as SAAS and event funding backed by crypto, a safe resale platform to name a few and to continuously expand into new regions.

Our benchmark year was 2019 when we saw 60% growth YOY. By the end of 2021, we have managed to increase our revenue in comparison to 2019 even though we operated only for six months of the year, which I think is a notable testament of our team and technology resilience.

We have set an ambitious goal for 2022 and Q1 looks like we are on track. We are actively looking for partners worldwide to enter new markets as our functionality stack very competitive at the moment.

 


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