Online ticketing company Eventbrite announced on Wednesday it has raised $20 million in Series D funding. The round was led by DAG Ventures. New investor Tenaya Capital and previous investor Sequoia Capital also participated. This funding brings the San Francisco-based company’s total funding to $29.5 million.
The additional funding will aid the continued development of the core product. “We want to focus on building great product and technology,” co-founder and CEO Kevin Hartz tells Billboard. “There hasn’t been a lot of innovation and change in ticketing. We want to invest in a product that’s a game-changer in the space.”
The company is focused on adding social elements to discovering events and buying tickets. So, when a person creates an event or buys a ticket, Eventbrite’s platform allows for easy sharing with social networks. Facebook is already biggest referrer, Hartz says, while search is number two and Twitter is third. “That tells us we need to push to limits of social sharing.”
Eventbrite has grown by serving smaller events that previously would not have used a publishing platform. It can ticket general admission shows but does not yet have the capability to serve reserved seating events. But since the platform scales up, Hartz says Eventbrite’s ultimate goal is to serve all aspects of the market, including larger events. “It’s shocking to me how similar to me the needs are of a 12-person club to a 12,000 person venue.”
Expansion into other territories is also in the company’s long-term plans. Hartz says the company currently gets 15% of its sales outside of the U.S. with no marketing.
The company was founded by Hartz, his wife Julia and Renaud Visage. Kevin was previously co-founder and CEO of Xoom, an online international money transfer service which was also backed by Sequoia Capital. Julia was creative director at FX Networks. Visage used to be with Zing Networks, an early online photo-sharing service that was acquired by Sony ImageStation. Sean Moriarty, the former CEO and president of Ticketmaster, is on Eventbrite’s board of directors.
The company is projecting $200 million in gross revenue in 2010 and says it has already processed 7.5 million tickets this year (about half of them are free, and Eventbrite takes a fee only on tickets with a price). The company has 80 employees.
As this investment shows, online ticketing continues to be a hot category. Investors clearly see ample room in the market for nimble and innovative entrants that aim to disrupt entrenched competitors. Other companies have landed funding recently, too. Ticketfly raised $3 million in May. ShowClix raised $1 million last year. Secondary ticketing site SeatGeek raised $1 million in January.