Eventbrite Raises Another $50 Million, Plans Expansion
Eventbrite Raises Another $50 Million, Plans Expansion

Eventbrite has raised an additional $50 million in a venture funding round led by Tiger Global, raising its total to $79.5 million. "They bring a great global perspective to us," CEO Kevin Hartz tells Billboard.

Previous Eventbrite investors include Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures and Tenaya Capital. Former Ticketmaster CEO Sean Moriarty sits on the company's board of directors.

"We're building a long-standing ticketing company, something that will be around for decades to come," adds Hartz. So the San Francisco-based company plans to use the new funding in three areas, he says: acquisitions, international growth and product and technology. Currently 20% of the company's revenue comes from outside the U.S. even though it has only an office in San Francisco and is currently setting up a London office. The company will first target U.K., Canada, Australia and Western Europe, says Hartz.

Eventbrite's ticketing platform is a disruptive, do-it-yourself ticketing service that has opened the market to a new group of customers. Nearly any type of event organizer can use the service - guitar lessons, concerts, baking lessons, professional conferences, etc. Free mobile apps turn smartphones into ticket scanners.

The company allows customers to issue tickets free of charge, so the company takes a cut of sales only on paid tickets (in the U.S. it charges 2.5% of revenue plus $0.99 per ticket - with a $9.95 cap - plus payment processing fees). It expects its customers to create roughly $500 million in ticket sales this year after generating $99 million in 2009 and $206 million in 2010, according to Hartz.

As far as the product, Hartz mentions plans for more social media integration, mobile innovation, building out the infrastructure to ensure customers never see downtime. He notes that Eventbrite uses Amazon's cloud computing service but was not affected by the recent outage because its engineers had built in the proper redundancies. "Ticketing requires a dial-tone service," he explains.

As for reserved-seating events, which would put Eventbrite in large music and sports events market, Hartz says the technology is being developed but adds "there's such a broad market beyond reserved seating, [our] success or failure doesn't depend on that."