Ticketing Marketplace TickPick Raises a Whopping $40 Million — 8 Years After Starting
No-fee ticketing company TickPick was founded back in 2011, but received no institutional funding — until now.
Guess it’s never too late to attract insane funding levels and become a unicorn. After eight years tinkering with its model, ticketing company TickPick has snagged a $40 million investment from PWP Growth Equity.
TickPick was originally created as a marketplace where users could bid for tickets, but that model became viewed as outdated. These days, TickPick focuses on being a marketplace free of hidden fees, where users know what they’re paying upfront.
The result is a transparency play designed to attract consumers based on better behavior. That will earn the company good ticketing karma, but it’s unclear if that will be enough to take on bigger players like Ticketmaster and Stubhub.
Founders Brett Goldberg and Chris O’Brien admit the model has its challenges. For starters, most concertgoers are conditioned to believe there will be hidden fees in the checkout process. That makes it difficult to compete on price. In a sign of the ticket-buying times, most buyers are padding ticket prices in their heads before clicking ‘buy’.
TickPick initially focused on selling tickets directly for major festivals. Firefly Music Festival and Riot fest were two early partners, and other major partners include Florida International, Georgia State, and Santa Clara universities.
TickPick’s says it’s on track to handle $200 million in transactions for 2019, which is up 60% from last year.
It’s unusual for a startup founded nearly eight years ago to pursue institutional funding, especially at these lofty valuations. TickPick’s founders say they weren’t willing to sell a significant stake in its business given their core focus on profitability.
Out of the gate, TickPick will use the new funds to hire a Chief Financial Officer and a Chief Marketing Officer. TickPick also hopes to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to help improve its customer experience.