Who is eager to visit a festival, concert, sports event or theatre production? Everyone, as it seems. No wonder Amsterdam-based ticket resale platform TicketSwap sees an avalanche of business coming their way. To make sure they are ready for the surge, they secured their first-ever funding with venture builder Million Monkeys: €8,2 million.
Buy and sell tickets
TicketSwap is an online platform where users can sell their tickets for concerts, festivals, sports events and theatres. It was founded in 2012 by Frank Roor, Hans Ober and Ruud Kamphuis. The goal is to make secondary ticketing fairer, safer and more transparent for real fans.
A cap on the sales price and verification of the sellers protect buyers from exorbitant prices and fake tickets. This way, the startup ensures every ticket finds a buyer that can attend the event and that fans have more chances to join their favourite event.
With the entertainment business mostly boarded up for the better part of a year, TicketSwap wasn’t having an easy time. In May 2020 the startup had to let go of 32 of its 160 employees. However, with the end of restrictions in sight, things are looking up. TicketSwap notices a surge in interest for their platform.
Expanding to new markets
Up until now, they bootstrapped their operation, with no need for external money. However, to fulfill their global ambitions the startup decided it needed growth capital. It found exactly that at Million Monkeys, also from Amsterdam. “Instead of having to take a step back due to COVID, we can now accelerate our growth”, says Hans Ober, CEO and co-founder of TicketSwap.
“We are expanding to new markets and improving the quality of our service. Million Monkeys has a lot of experience in building businesses like ours. And it’s always nice to find an investor that’s already using your platform a lot.”
‘Marketplace with just winners’
Maarten Beucker Andreae of Million Monkeys is indeed an avid user of TicketSwap. “It’s fantastic to find a last-minute ticket for a sold-out party or festival,” he says. “You can always be certain your ticket is valid, and the price is fair, which is also important for the artists. Buyers, sellers, organisers and artists, everyone gains from this system. TicketSwap is a marketplace with just winners.” As founder of 2dehands.be (which sold to eBay in 2013), and with participation in Factris, Temper and TheNextCloset, among others, he has a lot of experience in scaling up online marketplaces.
This experience, along with the capital, should give TicketSwap an edge in scaling up its business. It’s set to expand to new countries while reinforcing its presence in existing markets. It already has collaborations for the resale of tickets with over 6,000 events worldwide, including DGTL, Sziget and Hellfest.
According to TicketSwap, their funding also allows them to develop new features faster. For example, TicketSwap is working on new ways to handle scarce tickets for high demand events. They have been trialling a raffle technology that would allow more people to have a chance to enter and an increased chance to get a ticket.