Seatwave Secures $25 Million in Series C Funding
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Fidelity Ventures leads third round in Europe's #1 ticket exchange BOSTON--(Business Wire)-- Seatwave, Europe's largest fan-to-fan ticket exchange - an online marketplace for buying and selling tickets for theatre, sports, music and other live events - today announced it has raised $25 million in Series C funding led by Fidelity Ventures. They are joined by existing investors Atlas Venture, Mangrove Capital Partners and Adinvest. Commenting on the investment, Simon Clark, partner at Fidelity Ventures said "Through our experience in investing in and working with emerging online marketplaces such as Alibaba and Prosper, we have built a solid understanding of what it takes to become category leaders in this sector. We are convinced that Seatwave's strong management team and solid business fundamentals, combined with our global network of business and IT executives, positions the company to continue to lead the secondary ticket market in Europe." The company was launched in 2007 by Joe Cohen, Seatwave's Chief Executive Officer, who formerly held senior executive positions in the international businesses of Ticketmaster and Match.com, global brands owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI). The $25 million injection of funding comes as Seatwave cements its leadership position in the UK secondary ticketing market demonstrated by having over 500,000 tickets available for sale and being the most-trafficked ticket exchange website in the UK.(1) In 2007, Seatwave customers listed more than 1.7 million tickets for events in no less than 38 countries on its site. The funds raised will be used to replicate this success across Europe. Seatwave launched ticket exchanges in Germany, Holland, Spain and Italy during the last quarter of 2007. The company has expanded rapidly by offering fans of live events a secure and transparent environment in which to buy and sell tickets. Its strong customer protection measures have also attracted a host of partners including MSN, Associated Newspapers, the Kaiser Chiefs, London Irish Rugby Club, Time Out and Channelfly among many others. The secondary ticketing market has been heating up with a spate of M&A activity which has seen Stubhub, TicketsNow and GetMeIn snapped up in the last 12 months by eBay and Ticketmaster. The emerging online marketplace is changing the way fans buy and sell tickets as well as offering artists and rights holders the opportunity to generate a significant, new revenue stream. It is currently estimated to be worth around $1.9 billion in the UK alone, and $6.8-9.7 billion Europe wide(2). Commented Cohen: "We're delighted to be able to announce a further investment of $25 million in our business and to have found new investors who value our global vision and our ability to execute that vision. It's also gratifying to receive the endorsement of our existing investors in their increased support of Seatwave. We are passionate about offering fans the largest marketplace for tickets to the events they love; this funding will help us offer that service to more fans, for more events in more countries." Sonali De Rycker, Partner at Atlas Venture added: "As the founding investor in Seatwave, we have been witness to the company's explosive growth in a very short time frame. Recent exits in the space have legitimised the value of secondary ticketing players and are a great sign of things to come. With this funding, the company has the resources it needs to achieve its vision of building a very valuable category leader." Mark Tluszcz, Managing Partner at Mangrove Capital Partners commented: "Seatwave offers consumers the choice and level of service one expects from world class companies. By focusing on these values in the secondary ticketing market they have made their competitors look outdated and out of touch with consumer expectations." Notes to Editors About Seatwave Seatwave is the UK's largest fan-to-fan ticket exchange, an online marketplace for buying and selling tickets for theatre, sports, music and other live events. The company was launched in February 2007 by Joe Cohen, ex Ticketmaster and ex match.com and early stage Venture Capital firm, Atlas Venture. Seatwave has more than 500,000 tickets on sale at any one time, 25 times more than eBay. Seatwave guarantees that tickets come only from legitimate sources and will represent them accurately and honestly. Seatwave operates two types of customer protection. TicketintegrityTM guarantees that buyers will receive the tickets they ordered and in good time for the event. If not Seatwave refunds 150% of what was paid. All tickets bought on Seatwave are also covered by TicketcoverTM. This provides for a full refund if an event is cancelled and even covers buyers for a range of circumstances that may prevent them from attending their performance. The company is based in London. www.seatwave.com About Fidelity Ventures Fidelity Ventures invests in technology companies ready to enter the market and those poised for the next phase of growth. Its 40-year track record includes hundreds of successful investments in the consumer, communications, systems and software markets. Fidelity Ventures is distinguished by the ability to accelerate market adoption for its portfolio companies' offerings and by a global network of senior technology and business executives. Fidelity Ventures actively manages over $800 million from offices in Boston and London. For more information, please visit: www.fidelityventures.com. About Atlas Venture Atlas Venture is a leading early-stage venture capital firm that invests in technology and life sciences companies. Since inception in 1980, Atlas has helped build over 300 companies in more than 16 different countries. In the past decade, 44 portfolio companies have been acquired and 47 are now public companies with an aggregate market capitalization of over $15 billion. The firm is currently investing from its seventh fund and manages over $2.5 billion in committed capital. For more information, please visit www.atlasventure.com. About Mangrove Capital Partners Mangrove Capital Partners provides venture capital with a punch to entrepreneurs looking to build world class companies. Our mission is to help turn visions into realities by providing financing, thoughtful advice, relevant experience and deep industry relationships to our portfolio companies. Mangrove has invested in, among others, the following companies: Skype (www.skype.com), Lumension (www.lumension.com), Woome (www.woome.com), Nimbuzz (www.nimbuzz.com), Properazzi (www.properazzi.com), Zlio (www.zlio.com) and Jamendo (www.jamendo.com). (1) Source: Hitwise, December 2007. (2) Dow Jones News Stanton Crenshaw Communications Alex Stanton / Katrin Lieberwirth, + 1 (212) 780-0701 firstname.lastname@example.org / KLieberwirth@stantoncrenshaw.com or Portland PR Katie Thompson / Louise Rutter, 0044 (0)20 7404 5344 email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright Business Wire 2008