Property tycoon Nick Candy invests in Vibe Tickets
British property developer Nick Candy has invested more than £2 million in UK ticket resale firm Vibe Tickets, acquiring a 23% stake in holding company Vibe Group.
Candy – who with his brother Christian is behind projects such as One Hyde Park and NoHo Square (now Fitzroy Place) in London – is funding his investment in Vibe through his private fund, Candy Ventures. Vibe’s founder and CEO, Luke Massie, remains the majority shareholder.
Lancashire-based Vibe was bought out of administration by Massie, in 2018, and he later gifted equity in the new company to its original investors. Other shareholders include Scott Fletcher MBE and investment firm Vela Technologies.
“We are gathering momentum at an incredible pace”
Says Massie: “This is a significant milestone for the Vibe Group. To have the backing [of] Nick Candy and his experienced team at Candy Ventures, as well as the continued support from Scott and Vela, is a huge endorsement for the brand.
“We are gathering momentum at an incredible pace and making major progress in product development. We always put the consumer first and build products that add value to their everyday lives.”
“I recognise a lot of entrepreneurial qualities in Luke that I know are crucial for a tech start-up to achieve great things,” adds Candy. “He has identified real demand from consumers and developed some game-changing products.
“Candy Ventures is excited for the potential of this investment.”
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Vibe Tickets launches new Vibe Verified service
UK-based transparent resale platform Vibe Tickets has launched Vibe Verified, giving buyers the opportunity to distinguish between trusted, verified Vibe sellers and ordinary fan sellers.
Trusted sellers can now sign up to Vibe Verified and list their inventory on Vibe Tickets, using a transparent user profile and adhering to Vibe’s code of conduct. Such sellers will display a ‘Vibe Verified’ badge on their profile, so buyers are aware if they are buying from a fellow fan or a vetted, verified seller.
The company hopes the addition of Vibe Verified and the introduction of vetted sellers to the platform will ensure that supply for tickets always matches demand. The ticketing platform also aims to bring supply to one place, allowing customers to determine the true market value of tickets.
“What’s important to us is to increase supply whilst staying true to our Vibe promise,” says Luke Massie, chief executive and founder of Vibe Tickets. “By bringing ticket supply to one place in an open and transparent way, we’re giving consumers a choice.
“What’s important to us is to increase supply whilst staying true to our Vibe promise”
“We’ve created a dynamic marketplace, a true race to the bottom,” adds Massie. “If someone – fan-seller or Vibe Verified seller – wants to list their tickets for more than face value, they can. It doesn’t mean they will sell them and there will probably be another listing which naturally brings the average price down.”
The Vibe chief executive also refers to the improvement in regulation of ticket resale over the past few years, with the shuttering of Ticketmaster’s secondary ticketing sites Get Me In! and Seat Wave in August and the launching of price-capped ticket resale platforms by Ticketmaster, See Tickets, Eventim UK and AXS last year.
“Vibe Tickets is proud to support these changes and is looking forward to becoming more actively involved in discussions going forward – we believe we have a lot of real insight to offer,” says Massie.
In order for the service to remain absolutely free for fans, all Vibe Verified sellers will be charged a percentage of the cost of all sales they make on the site.
Ex-Ticketscript exec joins Vibe Tickets
Hannah Morris, Ticketscript’s former head of sales in the UK and Republic of Ireland, has joined Vibe Tickets as commercial director.
Based in Vibe’s London office, Morris – whose other experience includes senior roles at Groupon and video production company Dreamtek – will lead Vibe Tickets’ commercial strategy and “play a key role in […] accelerating its monetisation plans”, according to the company.
Morris’s hiring is the first for Vibe since the events of May 2018, when the resale platform was forced into administration as a result of cashflow problems, before relaunching as a new limited company later that month.
“I’m incredibly excited to have joined Vibe at such a monumental time in its journey,” she comments. “The team is one of the most passionate and talented I’ve met. They have a desire to innovate and provide consumers with a genuine alternative choice within the ticketing industry.”
“Hannah is a great fit for Vibe with our big ambitions to change the marketplace”
Despite Vibe’s recent difficulties – which also include an abandoned attempt in late 2017 to transition from a social, ‘ethical’ ticket marketplace into a more conventional secondary ticketing platform under a host of ex-Ticketmaster execs, all of whom have since left – founder Luke Massie says the company “continues to grow as consumers are becoming more aware of the industry’s failings”.
“We have a real belief that if we are going to solve all of the issues in the secondary market, then we need to solve problems in the primary as well,” says Massie. “Hannah is a great fit for Vibe with our big ambitions to change the marketplace for the benefit of fans.
“Hannah’s appointment is one of a number of significant decisions we’ve made in recent months as we respond to unprecedented interest in Vibe’s overall vision. We expect to announce more important news in the coming weeks.”
Morris’s former company, Ticketscript, was acquired by Eventbrite in January 2017.
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Vibe founder to gift equity in new company to crowdfunders
Vibe Tickets founder Luke Massie is to give away shares in his new company to investors in TheVibe Ltd, which was forced into administration earlier this month.
Vibe raised more than £600,000 in late 2016 through crowdfunding site Crowdcube, and Massie says gifting equity in his new vehicle, Vibe Tickets Ltd, to backers of the crowd sale is “the right thing to do”.
“This is a gift from me, personally,” he says. “Those investors are who Vibe stands for. They put their faith in me over other start-ups raising cash. They helped make Vibe happen. I owe them for that.
“I’m just reciprocating the support they’ve given to me because they deserve better than the situation they were left in. They deserve to be looked after and to have their investment honoured.”
Under the new arrangement, the crowd investors have the opportunity to opt in to receive the newly offered shares, which will be offered proportionate to their original investment in TheVibe Ltd. The shares are being gifted from Massie’s personal equity.
The crowdfunders who opt in to accept the equity offer will sit alongside Scott Fletcher MBE, who has committed £500,000, and Vela Technologies, which has promised £200,000, with Massie saying he’s close to agreeing terms with a major new investor in the coming weeks.
He continues: “This is a hugely exciting time for Vibe – we’re free from the shackles that were stifling our progress and we’re working on some significant developments. I want the crowd to share in all that, because that’s what they bought into in the first place.
“we’re free from the shackles that were stifling our progress”
“Since the moment my second offer was accepted to buy back the business, it’s been my intention to do the right thing by the crowd. The sensitivity of the situation meant it took longer than I’d have liked to put things in place – seeking the best advice on how I could execute my plan to best benefit investors took time, and looking after the Vibe team had to be top of my agenda.
“The last seven days have been the most testing of my life so far. I’ve watched conversations, based on misinformation and total inaccuracies, play out in the media and observed while others peddle their own agendas at my expense. It’s taken every inch of me to remain tight-lipped because I’ve known that, had I gone against advice and spoken publicly about my experience, I’d have jeopardised my plans to turn this situation around for the crowd.
“My actions speak louder than their words. While others have used my age as a weapon to insult me and tarnish my name, ironically it’s their immaturity that’s stoked the fire in me to pull this off.
“I’ve had to go against the grain to make this happen – most people thought I was crazy to suggest it. But I’ve pushed hard, I’ve insisted, I’ve justified my thinking and, as I always have, I’ve done things my way.”
Massie declines to comment on the specifics of The Vibe’s demise, although IQ understands a restrictive agreement with an early investor left the company unable to look elsewhere for funding.
“I can’t go into any detail about the events that led to The Vibe Ltd facing administration, but I will say Vibe was backed into a corner and the administration was forced upon me,” he concludes. “It’s been a huge distraction which we’ve moved on from now. I refuse to dwell on it.
I’ve got work to do and the next stage of the journey starts now, with the continued support of the crowd.”
VC cash helps Vibe meet £600K Crowdcube goal
Ten per cent of mobile ticket exchange Vibe Tickets is now owned by investors following a successful crowdfunding campaign that saw it raise £610,080 in four weeks.
UK-based Vibe, which launched the Crowdcube campaign in late August, met its target with one day to go, helped over the line by a last-minute £200,000 investment from venture-capital firm Vela Technologies.
“Vibe Tickets fits perfectly the profile of a business that Vela likes to invest in,” says Antony Laiker, executive director of Vela Technologies (a man not afraid of a dangling preposition). “The multi-billion pound primary and secondary ticket markets are dominated by big companies who effectively control the pricing and distribution of tickets often to the detriment to true music or sports fans. These fans are often priced out of the market and/or charged excessive fees. Vibe Tickets offers an alternative, allowing fans to use the Vibe app to buy and sell tickets transparently.
“Although the business started life three years ago, and is still pre-revenue, the recent launch of the Vibe app has allowed the business to scale up and grow more rapidly. We wish [CEO] Luke Massie and his team all the best and look forward to working with and assisting Vibe in the future.”
“This success attracting fan investors proves that users are still not satisfied with the state of secondary ticketing market”
Vibe, founded three years ago in Lancashire by then-20-year-old Luke Massie, facilitates through its app the buying and selling of unwanted concert and event tickets at face value or less. It has since last year connected over 30,000 users in eight countries.
Vibe’s crowdfunding success follows a survey of 1,000 British adults, commissioned by Vibe and carried out by Harris Interactive, which found that eight out of 10 British music fans are likely to use Vibe Tickets to buy and sell unwanted tickets at face value.
Rosa Martinez, Vibe Tickets’ newly hired marketing director, adds: “This success attracting fan investors proves that users are still not satisfied with the state of secondary ticketing market and want to re-invent the rules.
“The results of the Harris Interactive research are very encouraging. The fact that 80% of of young fans would rather make another fan happy by selling a ticket at original face value than to profit from the opportunity just shows that there are a high number
of young fans who value ethical commerce.”
Industry veteran Rosa Martinez joins Vibe
Ticketing industry veteran Rosa Martinez has been appointed marketing director of Vibe Tickets.
Martinez (pictured), who previously worked with the face-value ticket resale app on a freelance basis, joins Vibe today. Her past experience includes spells as online partnerships manager at Ticketmaster UK, head of marketing at Eventim UK, marketing director at Ticketea in Spain and, most recently, European marketing director at AXS.
“I’ve been following Vibe from the very start, and I am very excited to come on board at this important moment to build sustained user growth and to effectively communicate the huge value this app adds to every entertainment fan out there,” she comments.
“The big established ticketing companies are not well positioned to solve their own challenges and provide the next generation of live fans with better access to face-value tickets”
UK-based vibe, which offers a marketplace for the buying and selling of unwanted concert and event tickets at face value or less, is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube, making available 10% of its equity in exchange for an investment of £600,000. At the time of writing, it has raised £343,110 from 207 investors.
Outlining her choice to move to Vibe Tickets, Martinez – who has until now worked in the primary market – writes in a LinkedIn blog that traditional ticketers “do truly care about fans buying tickets at face value, and all of them invest significant resources to stop touts and robot bots…
“However it is my opinion that the big established ticketing companies are not well positioned to solve [their] own challenges and provide the next generation of live fans with better access to face-value tickets and innovative functionality.”
Face-value resale site Vibe seeks to raise £600k
Vibe Tickets, a UK-based ‘ethical’ secondary ticketing site, is making available 10% of its equity as it seeks to raise £600,000 on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.
Vibe, founded three years ago by then-20-year-old Luke Massie, facilitates through its app the buying and selling of unwanted concert and event tickets at face value or less. It has since last year connected over 30,000 users in eight countries.
“I simply hated seeing genuine fans being ripped off by touts and the secondary market,” says Massie, “and I’m clearly not alone. We’ve now got 145,000 followers on Twitter and an incredibly active community on our app, so we’re opening up Vibe Tickets for people to invest in our vision and share in our success via Crowdcube.
“It’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to help us outsmart the ticket touts and help us build something that’s genuinely disruptive and incredibly useful to genuine fans”
“This investment round will make 10% of Vibe Tickets available through Crowdcube. We’re looking for fans, followers, friends and venture capitalists to invest anything from £10 towards our target of £600,000. It’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to help us outsmart the ticket touts and help us build something that’s genuinely disruptive and incredibly useful to genuine fans.”
The Crowdcube campaign launched on Wednesday (17 August) and has so far raised £312,870 from 104 investors. The company was recently valued at £6 million.