New York-based SeatGeek, an event ticket marketplace and aggregator, said it acquired Israeli ticketing software company TopTix for $56 million. The acquisition, which is the largest in company’s history, makes SeatGeek one of the largest primary ticketers in the world, enabling fans to buy and sell tickets for sports, concert, and theater events.
The deal was financed through a $57 million Series D investment round in SeatGeek led by Glynn Capital, with participation from existing investors Accel, Causeway Media Partners, Haystack Partners, Mousse Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures. SeatGeek was founded in 2009 by Russell D’Souza and Jack Groetzinger, and has raised to date $160 million in 10 rounds of venture capital funding.
TopTix, founded in 2000 by Yehuda Yuval and Eli Dagan, brings a modern ticketing platform and a talented engineering team to SeatGeek, and has provided the leading ticketing software for more than 500 institutions. TopTix processes 80 million tickets a year in 16 countries across the globe. Current TopTix clients, which will now be clients of SeatGeek, range from museums and theaters to festivals and sports teams, including well-known organizations such as the Royal Dutch Football Association, Ravinia Festival, and multiple British soccer clubs.
“As anyone who has spent time in the entertainment industry knows, ticketing is a pain point for teams, artists, venues, and their fans,” said David Glynn of Glynn Capital, who prior to his technology investing career worked for Eric Godtland Management which managed and developed artists such as multi-platinum selling Third Eye Blind. “We believe that SeatGeek, strengthened by TopTix, is providing a better option through an innovative business model and best-in-class technology, and we think that’s the key to turning a massive industry on its head.”
TopTix will power the expansion of SeatGeek Open, SeatGeek’s primary ticketing platform that launched in August of 2016. SeatGeek Open enables artists and teams to sell tickets directly within other apps and websites, in places where fans are spending time and consuming content. This is a radically different approach from that of industry incumbents, which limit the distribution of tickets. Tickets, for example, could be made available through popular ecommerce websites, travel tools, and messaging sites. Artists and teams, through this massively increased distribution, are able to reach more fans and sell more tickets.
TopTix has served as SeatGeek’s technology partner for the company’s first primary ticketing client, Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer. The early results of SeatGeek Open are promising: the technology has helped Sporting KC increase online sales by 61 percent thus far compared to last season, and drive four times the amount of mobile purchasing the team saw with their previous ticket provider throughout 2016.
“TopTix has by far the best backend primary ticketing technology in the world, and we humbly believe that at SeatGeek we have created what is easily the best user experience,” said SeatGeek co-founder Jack Groetzinger. “Combining these two platforms together allows SeatGeek to deliver the most powerful — and only open — ticketing platform in the industry. We’re thrilled to be working with the team from TopTix to continue to build our open ecosystem that is transforming the way people access live events.”
SeatGeek is transforming the way that fans buy and sell tickets to their favorite events. It is also the Official Ticketing Partner of Major League Soccer.
“Our teams share a passion for innovation and a mission to build long-term partnerships,” said TopTix Co-Founder, Eli Dagan, who will continue to lead the core engineering team in Israel. “I’m thrilled that together we will continue to build a product tailored to the needs of all our clients around the world.”
TopTix will operate as a subsidiary of SeatGeek, continuing to service clients across the globe. SeatGeek now has more than 250 employees, located in nine offices across six countries.
Photo: SeatGeek co-founder Jack Groetzinger.