SeatGeek has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to begin the process of going public, according to multiple reports out this week. The confidential IPO paperwork was filed earlier this month, which allows the timeline for the offering some flexibility.
News of the company’s efforts to go public via the confidential IPO process come just less than a year after a deal to bring the company public via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) fell apart at the last minute in 2022. In September, the company announced it had raised $238 million in a Series E funding round that valued the company at $1 billion.
All the while, SeatGeek has continued to grow from its beginnings as a ticket resale search engine into a nascent competitor to Ticketmaster for major primary box office deals across sports and entertainment venues. It recently inked a deal with the Tennessee Titans and their home of Nissan Stadium in Nashville, which was the platform’s sixth NFL client. It announced 16 new partnership deals in 2022 alone, including the Utah Jazz, Baltimore Ravens, United Soccer League (USL), New Mexico United, NHL’s Florida Panthers, and two football clubs in the UK, Leeds United and Watford F.C. The company also recently announced marketplace partnerships with Major League Baseball (MLB) and Paciolan, the largest ticketing company in college athletics.
CEO Jack Groetzinger was involved in the high profile Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this year regarding Live Nation Entertainment and its outsized market power. During the hearing, he offered frank commentary regarding the difficulty that any companies in the live entertainment space have in offering meaningful competition to the industry giant, in spite of his firm’s rapid growth in the space. That hearing followed quick on the heels of the controversial move by Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to switch back to Ticketmaster from SeatGeek a year after making the opposite move, a decision that many speculate was due to the threat of missing out on shows promoted by Ticketmaster’s corporate parent.
TicketNews contacted SeatGeek asking for confirmation of the IPO reports, but has not received a response as of Thursday afternoon. A representative reportedly declined to comment when contacted by The Information, which initially reported the confidential IPO plans.
More private than a traditional IPO, a confidential IPO allows companies more options regarding the rollout of the offering plan and its timing. From Yahoo Sports:
The confidential IPO process was created by legislation in 2012, originally for small businesses but now open to companies of any size. It allows a business to avoid the embarrassment of deciding not to go ahead with an IPO. It also has the advantage of a much shorter waiting time before a company can begin its roadshow to drum up institutional investor enthusiasm for the offering. With a confidential IPO, companies have to wait just 15 days after their public filing with the SEC to approach potential qualified buyers. Lyft, Uber and AirBNB are among the companies that have gone public via this option.
SeatGeek appeared to be mere hours away from going public in June of 2022, having struck a $1.35 billion deal with RedBall Acquisition Corp. in 2021 that would have merged the already public shell company and SeatGeek upon approval from shareholders. But the market had soured on such deals, and the merger was called off prior to a vote being held.
TicketNews will update this story with further details of any response from SeatGeek should it respond.
Last Updated on April 20, 2023 by Dave Clark