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Ticketea Raises $4 Million To Beat Ticketmaster And Eventbrite At The Spanish Box Office

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Spanish startup Ticketea, the leading DIY ticketing platform in Spain, has raised $4 million in a Series B round of funding. The investment is being led by newly-established Spanish VC Seaya Ventures, and will be used by the company to consolidate its position in Spain through new m-commerce products, as well as for international expansion with a specific focus on emerging markets. Latin America is name-checked, which makes sense given Ticketea’s Spanish roots.

The startup previously raised $250,000 in seed funding in 2009, followed by a Series A round of $1.25 million at the end of 2010, which means today’s investment brings the total raised by Ticketea to $5.5 million. Meanwhile, the company says that it’s “cash-flow positive” (read: profitable), having shifted $26 million worth of tickets through its platform since launching in 2010, issuing more than 1.5 million tickets and managing over 31,000 events in over 10 Spanish speaking countries. That doesn’t sound too shabby and, accordingly, has seen the startup grow 150% in 2012, though predictably it isn’t breaking out its financials any further.

What we can infer, however, is that today’s new capital is really about stepping on the gas rather than continuing to grow at its current, though respectable, pace. This will come in the form of improved event discovery and innovating around the tools it provides for event organisers. Specifically, in the pipeline are new mobile applications and sites that aim to exploit the rise in m-commerce, which the company says is seeing more than 20% of the ticketing market go mobile.

Competing with market leader Ticketmaster for big events, or something like Eventbrite at the DIY ticketing Long Tail, Ticketea’s platform solves the problem of both event discovery for consumers and a way to sell tickets for event organisers. “We try to simplify the way everybody can promote, manage and sell their tickets online,” co-founder and CEO Javier Andres tells TechCrunch. “But this is not just about selling tickets, it is about bringing people together to share their passion”.

Features that Andres says give Ticketea a competitive edge include support for Apple’s Passbook, deep integration with Facebook, a free access control tool for event organizers called “Ticketea checkpoint”, reserved seating functionality, including the ability for event organizers to create their own seating chart, and full localisation (language, currency and payments) for the countries it’s targeting.

Ticketea operates a freemium model: It’s free to publish and promote an event, and if tickets are free, using this part of the service is also free. For events that charge for tickets, the startup takes a commission of 10% for every ticket sold (taxes and fees included). It’s not just catering for selling tickets online, either. A new POS iOS app dubbed “Box Office” lets venues sell tickets on the spot. In return they either pay a fixed fee for every ticket sold or a monthly fee depending on volume.