TickPick Acquires Secondary Staple Razorgator; Co-CEO Calls It An Important Acquisition Of Major Marketplace

Brett Goldberg
– Brett Goldberg
TickPick Co-founder and Co-CEO

Secondary marketplace TickPick is acquiring the brand and ticket resale platform Razorgator, which had declared financial insolvency in February.

TickPick made the announcement today, and cofounder/co-CEO Brett Goldberg spoke with Pollstar about where Razorgator is headed after financial woes led to many customers purchasing tickets not honored at venues.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it does not include the corporate ticketing business of Razorgator.

TickPick is a relative newcomer to the secondary game, being founded in 2011, and most recently took over duties for Firefly festival fromStubHub

The company’s main platform completely eliminates buyer fees and keeps seller fees from 10 to 12 percent, meaning the margins on each transaction are lower, but that fans always get the lowest possible price. 

Goldberg told Pollstar he runs a lean operation and believes that as the platform gets more users, the company will continue to grow, making Razorgator, which has in its existence moved more than a million tickets, an important acquisition.

Razorgator recently hit hard times, as it fell behind on payments to members, and though the National Association of Ticket Brokers sought an explanation from the company in February, as first reported by Amplify, Razorgator soon after laid off its employees and shuttered itsoffices.

The company announced it was financially insolvent, and many fans began complaining that tickets they had purchased on the site were not honored at the venue, as many had been canceled by sellers.

Despite these recent financial troubles, the Razorgator brand and platform will largely be left intact for the initial stages of the transition to new management. Goldberg said Razorgator developed a niche in the secondary ecosystem over the years, with very loyal users and purchasing at an average of $500 per order.

“[Razorgator] has been around since 2001,” Goldberg told Pollstar. “Sure, they’re not what they used to be in their prime, but it is still a major marketplace, it’s still an incredible opportunity to take that brand on, and service, potentially, 1 million users.”

The company isn’t planning on bringing any of the former employees on to maintain the platform, Goldberg said. The company’s former leadership will be involved in a consultative role to help with the transition, but will not be working with the platform in the long term.

Goldberg acknowledged TickPick is inheriting some short-term headaches by attempting to preserve the Razorgator platform, as he said many users were left in the lurch and the acquisition didn’t make it easy to systematize the processing of refunds for those claims.

“We know that orders are open. We don’t have a sense on the status of [most of] those orders. They will be handled on a one-by-one business. … But, we do know the number is very manageable.”

The immediate mission, Goldberg said, will thus be to connect with Razorgator’s user base, and to let them know that there is new ownership and that the platform will largely remain the same for the time being. 

Even though one of TickPick’s focuses is the elimination of buyer fees in its online secondary marketplace, in order to avoid changing the platform immediately after acquiring it, Razorgator will be continuing its use of fees, which Goldberg estimated at 16 to 18 percent of the ticket value. He noted this was still lower than the industry standard of 20 to 22 percent.

TickPick’s other strategy for distinguishing itself is an algorithm that grades the quality of pricing on tickets based on proximity to stage and a number of other factors.

While Razorgator may be integrated with TickPick’s methods and platform in the future, Goldberg said the immediate focus will be making sure the company’s longtime users stay for the journey.

“Consistently, besides this [recent] shakeup, Razorgator had very good support and they have taken care of their users. [The platform] hasn’t changed much over the years. It was the same company, the same product. You knew what you were getting, and some people appreciated that.”

“Ultimately, our goal is to build back that trust, not just for Razorgator, but the secondary industry as a whole.”