Seatwave, the European aftermarket ticket exchange, is trumpeting somewhat of a landmark today, announcing that one million tickets have been traded through the site. However, it’s a number that is brought sharply into focus when you consider how well funded the UK startup is – thought to be a massive $53 million – and that it’s been operating for coming up to four years. That number doesn’t seem to have quite the same wow-factor now.
Like similar marketplaces, Seatwave, which operates in the UK and several places in mainland Europe, provides what it describes as a fan-to-fan ticket exchange, essentially an aftermarket where people can buy and sell tickets to theatre, sport and music events. The company’s pitch, however, is that its online marketplace ensures that ticket sales and purchases are 100% safe, presumably with proven mechanisms in place to counteract fraud and unreliable buyers and sellers.
The idea is also that by creating an open and transparent marketplace, it can help to bring down prices in the secondary ticketing market, a trend that we’ve seen in other markets where the Internet is disrupting.
Of course, Seatwave has a whole bunch of competitors: There’s TicketMaster (IAC), StubHub (eBay) and the likes of UK-based Viagogo, another well funded startup in the aftermarket ticket space whose backers include tennis legends Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf.