StubHub! co-founder Eric Baker’s new company Viagogo was named one of “Red Herring” magazine’s top 100 privately held European technology companies for 2007. The top 100 were selected from more than 700 companies throughout Europe, and in addition the magazine also considered companies from the Middle East and Africa. Red Herring covers innovation, technology, financing and entrepreneurial activity in the global business market.
Live since the summer of 2006, Viagogo.co.uk is an online event ticket exchange, similar to StubHub, where fans can buy and sell tickets. It launched having raised $20 million in venture capital and initially focused on reselling tickets for European soccer games. The company has inked deals to be the official ticket reseller for Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC and FC Bayern Munich, among others.
The site quickly added to its repertoire the reselling of tickets to concerts and cultural events, and in 2007 and 2008 the company plans to expand beyond England and Germany to Spain, France and Italy, according to a Red Herring interview with Baker.
Red Herring’s editors compiled the list based on the quality of the companies’ management, the successful execution of their strategies, dedication to research and development and an analysis of available financial data, according to the magazine. Viagogo’s business model calls for the company to receive a 10 percent commission from the buyer on the purchase of a ticket and an additional 15 percent commission from the seller on the sale of the ticket.
The U.K. secondary ticket market is much smaller than in the U.S. and is valued at the equivalent of about $10 million in U.S. dollars, according to published reports, but is poised to grow due to Viagogo and new entrant Seatwave.com.