This week tbites interviewed Joe Cohen, CEO of UK startup Seatwave, the fan-to-fan ticket exchange. You might think selling unwanted tickets to concerts and events is a market normally populated by ticket touts and those selling on eBay – and you'd be right. But Seatwave hopes to bring some order and safety to this market, estimated to be worth around £1bn a year in the UK alone. It has even given evidence to the Parliamentary Committee looking at ticket touting in the UK. This week it raised $8 million in Series B funding from Mangrove Capital Partners, Atlas Venture and Oliver Jung, one of Germany’s most successful early stage business angels. (Quicktime format)
Although it's not going to be a cake-walk. Viagogo.com, launched last year by Eric Baker of US ticket reseller StubHub, is a well funded competitor in the UK, having raised $20m from Index Ventures and others. It is also backed by lastminute.com founder Brent Hoberman and David Katz, head of Yahoo’s sports and entertainment unit.
Seatwave says it already has over 400,000 tickets for sale on the site, 20 times more than eBay. Hitwise stats put the site in the top 15 of the ticketing website category.