Grouper Co-Founder's New Gig: LiveKick, A Concert Ticket Search Engine (Invites)

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What happens when you sell the company you co-founded for an estimated $65 million and have a cushy VP gig at Sony? You set out and build your third startup of course. That’s exactly what Aviv Eyal did along with Yarden Tadmor, the former VP of Business Development at Quigo.

Their new company LiveKick can be best described as the Kayak of music concert ticketing. The service helps users discover live concerts in their geographic vicinity and purchase the cheapest available tickets. 500 invites for the private beta are available exclusively to TechCrunch readers here.

Setting-up LiveKick is a two step process, the first being indicating your location (US only), the second being adding your favorite artists. There are three ways to do this: Manually (artist-by-artist), linking to one of the five supported online music services (Rhapsody, Last.fm, Pandora, MySpace Music, iLike), or uploading an iTunes Music Library File.

This is where LiveKick’s under the hood technologies start kicking-in, beginning with its live concerts search engine that continuously queries ticketing sites such as Ticketmaster, LiveNation, StubHub, Tickets.com and eBay, as well as user-generated content sites such as MySpace Music. The Livekick search engine performs daily updates of ticket pricing info for the 69,000+ concerts that it tracks in the US.

A proprietary recommendation engine suggests what upcoming local concerts users would enjoy attending by crossing stylistic relationship data, such as performing artists and bands, with geo and venue data. The engine monitors for relevant events and sends an email alert as soon as new matching concerts are announced, allowing users to act quickly and buy tickets while they’re cheap or before they run out.

A point the company reiterated is that it has no intentions of being another music related social network (see Twones, which launched Yesterday). Instead it will focus on integrating with users’ existing social destinations and utilities.

There are a number of direct competitors such as Songkick, ShowClix and HearWhere—even last.fm and iLike have concerts recommendation features. LiveKick doesn’t mind though because it isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, it’s just trying to make it slightly better. This is very much in line with Kayak.com which disrupted an already rich online travel ticketing industry.

The big question is whether it’s the best time to launch such a business. One argument would be that leisure spending is going to be tight in the foreseeable future so LiveKick’s timing is off. However, one could also argue that if users are going to spend the money, they might as well make the most out of it, which is where LiveKick’s offering theoretically hits the mark.

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