U2 guitarist The Edge is helping a young Irish company make its mark on the ticketing landscape.
Ticket Text, the company behind white label ticketing solution Ticket ABC, just received over $350,000 in seed funding from the famous musician, bringing its total current investment to over $1 million.
Launched in 2007, Ticket Text was developed with the aim of making tickets mobile, using SMS texting to send scannable bar codes to ticket purchasers’ mobile phones, which eliminate handling and shipping costs. In 2010, the company launched Ticket ABC, a product which puts artists, promoters and venues in control of the ticketing process instead of the big ticketers like Ticketmaster, which set their own pricing and add on various consumer fees during the purchasing process.
“The feedback we were receiving,” notes Ticket Text founder Mark McLaughlin in a recent conversation with TicketNews, “was that clients wanted to take their ticketing function in house to control pricing, the customer relationship and the potential up-sell to their customers. As the software on the market was either very expensive to license or couldn’t fulfill the requirements of venues and promoters, we decided to change the company around to become a software company, so we developed Ticket ABC, a white label ticketing and venue management solution.”
For a flat 5 percent fee plus $0.99 per transaction, Ticket ABC allows clients to manage their own customer data and pricing strategy, with no additional customization fees or annual charges. A sales widget is available for insertion into a client’s own site or Facebook page, eliminating the need to develop a separate ticket selling site. Sellers can create seat maps and seat rankings, allowing consumers to choose their seats when they buy.
“You get a fully customizable, feature rich ticketing and venue management solution without having to invest any upfront costs,” McLaughlin said. “Clients are switching primarily because they increase their revenue, they control and own all customer information without having to invest any upfront capital.” The company currently boasts over 30 venue and promoter clients, including the London venues fabric and Pacha and London area promoter Bird on the Wire.
Following the original aims of the company, Ticket ABC is mobile-friendly, with consumers able to purchase and scan their tickets from their phones, even forwarding their tickets to friends if they choose. Social networking plays an integral role here, with consumers able to tweet about their purchase or announce it on Facebook, sharing the details with their online circle.
One particular feature, an integrated wireless solution which allows consumers to scan their tickets at multiple points in the venue, has considerable value in terms of upsales. Pinpointing where consumers are at the venue allows for more accurate location- or interest-specific mobile communications, including coupons relevant to their spot in the venue.
With the company operating lean in its first few years, McLaughlin welcomes the recent round of funding and believes it is coming at the right time: “We wanted to have the product further developed and increased revenues before we raised a Series A of $2-3 million, and we have already started the process for that.”
Specific plans for the use of the Series A funds include expansion into North America, with outreach to U.S. and Canadian clients imminent.