SeatGeek targets StubHub with new ticket Marketplace

Steven Loeb · November 19, 2015 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4193

SeatGeek will now allow fans to sell or transfer their tickets directly through the website

Ticket search engine SeatGeek is taking the next step, going from a Kayak for tickets, to a site offering to actually resell tickets through its own website. It's a new space for the company, and it's one that will force it to take on a pretty big player.

SeatGeek has launched a new Marketplace, which will allow ticketholders to list, sell and transfer tickets directly to other fans, the company announced on Thursday.

If that idea sounds familiar, that's because it's basically what websites like Tickets.com already do. The big player in the space is StubHub, which was bought by eBay for $310 million back in 2007.

SeatGeek has long been something of a Kayak for concert tickets: it searches dozens of the biggest ticket sites and present the results all in one place. It also provides a recommendation engine, which suggests upcoming events based on each user's personal tastes, as well as interactive maps of venues. It's a good resource for finding the place to get the lowest ticket prices.

So this is new territory for the company, going from being the middle man between fans and ticket sellers to being a marketplace unto itself. Sts a space that will be competative, but the company is already listing a few ways that it is attempting to differentiate itself from others in the space, mostly having to do with price.

First, it says it offer price transparency, which others who allow for resold tickets do not. (I have bought tickets on StubHub and I can tell you this is a problem. It's pretty hard to know if you're getting ripped off or not)

"Other ticket marketplaces tack fees on both buyers and sellers, making it hard for anyone to know what the true price of a ticket really is," the company wrote. "On the SeatGeek Marketplace, only a low fee is assessed to the seller -- meaning that the price that a seller sets is the price a buyer pays, eliminating consumer confusion at the point of purchase."

It is also going to leverage its existing technology to get users the best price for their tickets, and SeatGeek is also allowing users to transfer their tickets to their friends for no cost, and for sellers to have their payouts sent directly to their Venmo accounts in lieu of a bank account.

SeatGeek Marketplace is designed to cater to the company's mobile users, an area that has been growing fast. SeatGeek’s mobile applications for iPhone, iPad and Android have been downloaded over 3 million times, and over 60% of SeatGeek users now access the service via a mobile device.

Founded in 2009, the company currently sees over five million monthly unique visitors. It said last year that it expected sell well over one million tickets thru the SeatGeek platform in 2014. So it has a built in base of users.

For its part, StubHub does not seem to be to worried about SeatGeek unseating it as the king of resold tickets. At least not yet.

"For over 15 years, StubHub has been the marketplace for fans. The company was created on the premise that fans deserve choice – and that the competition that comes with choice makes live entertainment for both the industry and the fans who fuel it," Smita Saran, Head of Corporate Communications at StubHub, told VatorNews.

"Given that, we welcome competition at every corner and look forward to the innovation it brings to the game, the industry and the fan experience."

SeatGeek has raised $103 million in funding from Technology Crossover Ventures, Founder Collective, Causeway Media Partners, Mousse Partners, Carmelo Anthony, Shane Battier, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning and Nas.

(Image source: seatgeek.com)

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SeatGeek forecasts the price of sports and concert ticket on the secondary market, analogous to what Farecast (now Bing Travel) does for airline tickets. For ticket buyers this helps determine whether to buy a ticket immediately or wait for a price drop. For sellers it helps identify the optimal time to unload their tickets.

SeatGeekā€™s crawlers have compiled millions of ticket transactions and have also aggregated other factors that influence prices. SeatGeek's patent-pending technology uses this data to accurately predict prices.

SeatGeek offers a free version for buyers and will soon release a premium version for brokers and other sellers.