ScoreBig...scores big with $14M

Faith Merino · April 21, 2011 · Short URL:

The live event ticketing service lets users make offers on what they're willing to pay for tickets

ScoreBig, a discount ticketing service that throws a unique haggling angle on online ticket purchases, announced Thursday that it has raised $14 million in Series B financing led by U.S. Venture Partners, with participation from Bain Capital. The round brings ScoreBig’s total raised to $22.5 million.

Founded in 2009 by former National Basketball Association executive Adam Kanner, and founder of Joel Milne, the members-only site offers up to 70% savings on tickets for sporting events, concerts, and theater performances. But before you go thinking ScoreBig is a Groupon for tickets, it’s not. Rather, it’s more of an eBay for tickets. Members simply select the tickets for the event they want to attend and make an offer, which the event organizer can accept or reject.

To help users figure out the most reasonable price to offer, the site provides the original retail price of the tickets how that price is broken down into various fees so that the user can find the baseline value of the ticket. From there, the user can make a full-price offer based on that value, or make a lower offer to see how low the event organizer is willing to go. If the offer is rejected, the user will have to wait a full 24 hours to make another offer (for some reason), or the event organizer might make a counter offer.

Really, the whole process sounds like a lot of fun! But what’s in it for the event hosts and organizers? Much like an outlet mall, ScoreBig acts as a place where organizations in the live entertainment industry can move unsold tickets without the cannibalization risks or the negative image that discounted tickets stick brands with. Without directly discounting tickets themselves, brands and event organizers can fill seats and get tickets sold at a discount.

“ScoreBig has finally done for the live entertainment industry what others have done for the travel and retail industries – create a channel to move inventory at a discount without cannibalizing full price sales or damaging brands” adds Rick Lewis, Partner at U.S. Venture Partners, in a statement. "ScoreBig has proven itself to be a category-defining company with a model that for the first time, works collaboratively with the industry to safely and dynamically sell tickets below retail price, while also serving to increase the affordability of attending live events for fans.”

Currently, more than 600,000 tickets are available on ScoreBig, and the site has sold more than half a million to date.

Individual investors and advisors include Gideon Yu, vice chair of CBS and Viacom Shari Redstone, former CEO of Digitas Michael Bronner, and former president and COO of YankeeNets Finn Wentworth.


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