Eventbrite Files for $200M IPO
The NYSE public offering comes months after hacking attack took down the company's recently acquired Ticketfly platform.
Eventbrite has announced plans to file an initial public offering with Securities and Exchange Commission to have the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EB. The company, which has co-founder Julia Hartz listed as CEO, will offer Class A stock to investors at a yet-to-be-announced price and raise approximately $200 million, according to its SEC filing. The IPO filing comes months after a devastating hacking attack took a large swath of the company and its clients offline and exposed users' private data.
Listing Live Nation as it’s largest competitor, Eventbrite's IPO is being underwritten by a number of big name investment banks including Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Allen & Company, RBC Capital Markets, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and Stifel. The ticketing company -- which saw net revenue growth rise 51 percent between 2016 and 2017 from $135 million to $201 million -- is one of the biggest independent ticketing companies in the world, ticketing 3 million events last year and issuing 203 million tickets for 700,000 event creators in 170 countries. Eventbrite purchased competitor Ticketfly in June 2017 from Pandora, solidifying its dominance as a standout middle market leader in the ticketing space.
Despite the strong organic and acquisition-driven growth, Ticketfly has posted combined losses of $79 million for 2016 and 2017, as well as a net loss of $15.6 million for the first six months of 2018. Still, the company is posting strong net revenue growth, going from $88.2 million for the first half of 2017 to $142.1 million for the same period this year. Last year, about 30 percent of the company’s net revenue came from outside of the United States.
Eventbrite is still recovering from a hacking attack earlier this year that exposed the personal data of its 27 million customers and shut down large portions of the platform for weeks, creating major headaches for independent promoters and producers who rely on Ticketfly for ticketing, marketing and website hosting. Neither Hartz nor Ticketfly founder Andrew Dreskin have publicly addressed the attack, although the SEC filing says the attack cost the company $6.6 million.
Besides the hacking attack, the company lists a number of risks in its IPO, including its reliance on Facebook and Spotify for traffic, as well as the millions of dollars it carries on its balance sheet in upfront payments Eventbrite hands out each year to sign new clients. As of June 30, the company had $13.3 million in upfront signing fees on its books and $21.6 million in recoupable advances. In some cases, Ticketfly has had to file lawsuits to attempt to recoup the money with legal actions taken against the hip-hop festival Rock the Bells, Bay Area promoters Parish Entertainment Group and Fillmore Live Entertainment Group filed over the past four years.