Ticketbis, the Spanish startup that operates an exchange for buying and selling after-market tickets to events in Europe and South America, has raised an additional $4.5 million in funding — capital it says will be used to expand into new markets.
The site, which competes with a number of other so-called “fan-to-fan” ticket exchanges such as Viagogo, Seatwave, Stubhub, and Getmein, currently operates in 15 countries worldwide, and claims to be the market leader in Southern Europe and Latin America.
The new capital comes from Ticketbis’ previous investors, along with several company employees and two unnamed Spanish Business Angels. It brings the total raised by the Spanish startup to $7.2 million via four funding rounds since it was founded in 2010.
It’s noteworthy that in a statement issued by the company, Ticketbis CEO and co-founder Jon Uriarte is talking up the decision to shun VC money in favour of other forms of private investment: “We have been approached by significant Venture Capital organisations, in both Europe and America, however, we preferred to preserve our independence and management agility and decided on private investor input only,” he says.
Of course, it’s worth adding that Spain is also known to have a dearth of VC money — the press release makes note of this fact, citing research published by the IE Business School in Madrid that says that only 2% of Spanish startups survive more than 5 years due to a lack of funding — so that could also explain the decision. On paper, however, the company does look like it has the kind of traction that is attractive to Venture Capital.
(Update: Two of Ticketbis’ backers are VC funds of sorts, albeit partly public/state funded: Seed Capital is a venture capital fund and EU project, dedicated to the promotion and development of ‘innovative’ start-ups, and Gestión de Capital Riesgo del País Vasco is a venture capital Management company founded in 1985 by the Basque Government through the Society for the Promotion of Industry.)
To that end, Ticketbis says that in the first 6 months of this year it’s booked $18 million in sales, which is already in excess of the $15 million invoiced in the whole of 2012. It makes money by charging a small commission to the buyer and seller on each ticket sold through its platform. Since being founded, the startup says it’s sold over 150,000 tickets worldwide, and claims 6 million users. Interestingly, it cites its “ambitious internationalisation plan” as key to that growth, and says that approximately half of its turnover comes from Europe, with the remainder coming from Latin America.
Its three main ticket categories are Sports, Concerts and Theatre with the platform currently offering more than one million tickets to events in various parts of the world.