The recovering of the ticketing and live events industry helped nine companies land on the Marketplace 100, a ranking of consumer-facing marketplace startups and private companies. SeatGeek led the way at No. 3 overall, with viagogo also landing in the Top 10 at No. 6. Both were in the rankings a year ago, as was Gametime, which jumped up 20 spots from the 2021 list to No. 24 this year.
Only grocery startup Instacart and gaming stalwart Valve kept SeatGeek out of the top spot on the list, with car-sharing startup Turo and sneakerhead marketplace StockX at 4 and 5 before viagogo. SeatGeek showed record income levels with its recently announced Q4 and full year 2021 earnings report, and is on track to go public by the end of this quarter via a merger with SPAC RedBall Acquisition Corp, while viagogo was finally able to complete its acquisition of StubHub, reuniting CEO Eric Baker with the company he co-founded.
The company’s record numbers in 2021 “showed the resilience of our business model and fulfilled the strategic initiatives made over the past two years,” SeatGeek CEO and co-founder Jack Groetzinger said in the announcement of the company’s financial results this week. “We’re seeing significant momentum in both the primary and secondary markets, leading to strong market share growth driven by our innovative ticketing and consumer experience technology. We’ve navigated through the pandemic with focus and precision, and have an eye toward the future for SeatGeek and all of our customers – fans, teams, and venues alike.”
SeatGeek was honored last month as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative” for 2022, in the Live Events category.
Other ticketing businesses to make the list include peek (No. 11), Fever (No. 23), TickPick (No. 34), Tixr (No. 37), DICE (No. 47) and TodayTix (No. 80). All were first-time entrants in the rakings. The surge for ticket-focused companies was attributed to the floodgates being opened for live events after more than a year of strict COVID-related restrictions in many major cities.
2021 was a tale of two eras: pre- and post-vaccine. As vaccines rolled out nationwide, many categories saw dramatic reversals in activity from 2020. Categories that were crushed by covid surged back to normal, while others that saw boosts due to quarantine fell back to earth.
The best example of this came (again) from the Ticketing category. In 2020, total GMV for the Ticketing category fell by more than 50%, placing it in the bottom three categories by performance. In 2021, Ticketing saw a massive comeback, ranking as the #1 category in terms of change in marketplace activity for 2021. But it didn’t start out that way: Almost 40% of marketplace activity in Ticketing occurred in Q4 alone, as nationwide vaccination rates approached 70%.
Incumbents SeatGeek (#3), Viagogo (#6),and Gametime (#24) all used this resurgence to jump multiple spots on this year’s list. We also saw six newcomers in the Tickets space. A few highlights are Fever (#23), which focuses on curating the best local experiences in major cities, and Dice (#47), which specializes in providing tickets to virtual events, livestreams, and some IRL events.
The full marketplace 100 is available here