Tickx, the start-up that famously turned down £75,000 on BBC’s Dragons’ Den last year, raises 40 times the cash to push on into Europe.
Manchester-based ticketing search engine and discovery platform TickX has raised £3m in a funding round led by BGF Ventures.
The funding round saw existing investors Ministry of Sound and 24 Haymarket increase their backing.
‘We’re in a unique position to enter a fragmented European ticketing market and become a one-stop shop for millions of people looking to search for and buy tickets for events and attractions’
– STEVE PEARCE
The investment will fund its expansion into Europe and a move into cinema ticketing.
TickX, a previous Siliconrepublic.com Start-up of the Week, allows customers to find and buy tickets for more than 125,000 events and attractions from all the major ticket-selling platforms, including Ticketmaster, Headout and Skiddle, in one place.
TickX’s mission is to become the one-stop global destination for entertainment lovers across the world looking for the best tickets.
The start-up’s founders, Steve Pearce and Sam Coley, last year appeared on BBC’s Dragons’ Den and turned down three offers of £75,000 from the Dragons.
The company has now also raised 40 times the amount offered on the show.
“We’ve been seriously impressed by their ambition and pace in building the company, and we’re confident that TickX will continue to expand and reach their goal of becoming the global go-to platform for discovering experiences,” said George Mills from BGF Ventures.
Just the ticket to take on Europe
The investment will be used to fuel international growth in Europe, invest in innovation by building on chatbots for events as well as 3D seat mapping, and grow the team.
TickX will also soon be adding cinema tickets to its service.
“The European ticketing market is increasingly fragmented, making it confusing and time-consuming for customers to find where to buy the best-priced tickets,” Pearce told Siliconrepublic.com.
“Furthermore, most ticket-selling platforms are very specialised, either focusing on one vertical, such as gigs or theatre, or only providing tickets in one specific location, so it’s hard for people to find everything they need in one place.
“In almost every market, there is a €1bn aggregator – for example, Skyscanner and Kayak for flights, Trivago and TripAdvisor for hotels, Rentalcars.com for car hire. But when you look at the €180bn experience market (events, attractions and cinema), there is traditionally no leading player. That is the gap TickX is now filling.
“Trust is also increasingly becoming a deciding factor when buying entertainment tickets. As we expand internationally, it’s important for our customers to know that they are buying from reputable sellers via TickX, safe in the knowledge that TickX adds no extra fees.”
Pearce said that last year, more than 1m people used TickX to plan a day or night out, and it has a wide variety of users.
“Some use us to discover new experiences, given we have unrivalled inventory covering everything from arena tours to hidden gems, so they can always find something fun to do with TickX. Others use us to compare ticket prices to ensure they find the best deals across our 50-plus ticket partners. Some use us simply to track their favourite artists, comedians or teams so they can be alerted when they are playing near them or when prices drop.
“We’re in a unique position to enter a fragmented European ticketing market and become a one-stop shop for millions of people looking to search for and buy tickets for events and attractions,” Pearce said.
Pearce said: “We will first establish TickX in Europe with this round of investment.
“TickX is already live in Ireland, the UK and Spain, and we’ll be launching in more countries very soon. Not only does it provide those customers unrivalled access to the best tickets in their own country but, as we expand further across Europe and beyond, people will be able to find and buy tickets for events and attractions all around the world, so they can find a great day or night wherever they are travelling to.
“We’ll also soon be offering cinema tickets for the first time so movie lovers can always discover what’s happening and find the best-priced tickets at their local cinema.
“Continuing to invest in innovation is also really important to us. Last year, we introduced the world’s first chatbot for event ticketing and launched market-leading 3D seating maps for theatres.
“We’ll soon be introducing some cool new features to continue giving customers the very best experience when searching for and buying tickets.”