Ticketfly Scores $3 Million In Financing

Ticketfly, the startup founded in 2008 by online ticketing innovator Andrew Dreskin, has received an infusion of $3 million in Series A funding that is expected to power the company’s next stage of development.

And that build-out is coming at a rapid pace, considering as recently as November it boasted but a handful of clubs as clients but has since grown that roster to more than 50. Sales of more than 1 million tickets are projected in its first full year of operation.

It’s become an attractive alternative to industry giants like Ticketmaster, now part of Live Nation Entertainment, with one-step integration into social networking and website management that gives venues and promoters a fast, economical means of building events. With fees up to 40 percent less than Ticketmaster and no print-at-home charges, it’s also attractive to consumers.

“We have set out to build the leading web-based ticketing and social marketing platform for the live music space, which helps us continue the development of next-generation ticket technology, including yield management, dynamic pricing and the like,” Dreskin told Pollstar. “Our goal is to be the best provider of social marketing tools for venues and promoters.”

To that end, Ticketfly is looking at a summer launch of its website integration platform. “Historically, the way our ticketing industry is set up causes tremendous inefficiencies,” Dreskin said. “Venues and promoters, every time they confirm an act, have to create that event four, five or six different times between ticketing pages, website, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.”

Among other things, website development tools are made available to venues and promoters at no cost, saving time and thousands of dollars to web developers and webmasters. Not to mention that once data is entered into the system, whether from a desktop or even a smartphone like a BlackBerry or iPhone, the information populates a website, launches a Facebook event page and triggers up to five automatic “tweets” on Twitter.

“What our integrated system does is when you enter your show data once, it populates all of those outlets. And so the financing really allows us to continue at a fast pace to build those next generation ticketing and marketing tools for promoters.”

The system will also provide venues and promoters tools to determine the most efficient means of scaling houses and setting dynamic ticket prices for the most effective inventory management.

“We’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about yield management and dynamic pricing,” Dreskin said. “One of our goals from the beginning has been to help create more efficient pricing, how to help our clients maximize revenue, how to help consumers. I think we all agree that there’s a compelling reason why the front row should cost as much as it does on, say, StubHub and the last row should also cost as much as it does on StubHub.”

Speaking of the secondary market, Dreskin is taking a hard look at not only how the open market determines a certain value for certain tickets, but how to get some of those dollars back into the hands of the industry’s stakeholders.

Dreskin acknowledged that Ticketfly has already been approached by some of the biggest players in the secondary industry to partner. Nothing’s been inked yet, but Dreskin said he’s entertaining non-broker proposals – with conditions.

“Right now, when a ticket gets sold in the secondary market for one of our clients, either venues or promoters, no one receives any income from that ticket,” Dreskin explained. “We think there could be a compelling reason to establish a relationship with secondary players.

“For example, when consumers want to sell their tickets because they can’t go to the event, it could happen on one of our partner sites and we’ll bring that revenue back into the ecosystem to share with our clients and the artists,” he continued. “The second reason is the secondary players enjoy a tremendous amount of traffic and eyeballs.”

Like other Ticketfly tools, clients would be able to opt out of such a program at their own discretion.

“We know that some of our clients would welcome the opportunity to display their inventory on sites that have that much traffic, and that some of our clients have an aversion to the secondary market,” Dreskin said. “Just like with everything with Ticketfly, we’ll leave those decision to the clients. We’re just providing the tools to make it happen.”

Among Ticketfly’s newest clients are Elko Productions in Pittsburgh, Maxwell’s in Hoboken, N.J., The Troubadour, The Glass House and Key Club in Southern California, Rickshaw Shop in San Francisco and Guerilla Union, the Rock the Bells Tour producer.

Dreskin revealed that many of the new clients signed on after their last Ticketmaster contracts ran out, and many more have indicated they intend to look at alternatives when existing contracts expire.

“What we’re hearing from a lot of the former Ticketmaster clients is that they’re very interested in controlling their ticketing and having the ability to build events on their desktop,” Dreskin said. “Today, to build an event on the Ticketmaster system will take three to five days as opposed to web-based providers like us, where a promoter confirms an act and the event can be on sale in under two minutes. It’s pretty revolutionary for our business.”