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Event Tickets Are Big Business: European Startup Invades U.S.

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viagogologo.pngLondon-based Viagogo, an online marketplace for event tickets, is invading the U.S. market. It’s a European version of StubHub, which sold to eBay for $307 million back in January.

The site was founded by Eric Baker, one of StubHub’s founders, and launched in 2005 after a falling out with the company. Baker is now returning to the US market to take on StubHub, with a fresh $30 million coming from a series C round led by Index Ventures. Other participating investors included LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault, German media mogul Dr. Herbert Kloiber, and international financier Lord Jacob Rothschild. The company has a total of $50 million in financing.

For their US launch, they’ve closed a deal with the Cleaveland Browns to be the official secondary ticket provider. The deal, however, comes on the heels of StubHub’s larger exclusive deal to be the MLB’s official online ticket resale marketplace.

Viagogo still has a larger presence in Europe, making exclusive ticketing deals with a number of Europe’s top teams, including Manchester United, Chelsea Football Club and Bayern Munich. Baker’s previous experience at Viagogo seems to be helping. The company claims to be generating more revenue in June, its tenth month in operation, than StubHub did in its first 15 months combined.

Viagogo makes money by adding a 10 percent service charge to ticket prices for buyers and takes a 15 percent service charge to sellers. So, a ticket listed for $100 costs a buyer $110, with $85 going to the seller. StubHub follows the same pricing structure.

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