Eventbrite, owner of Ticketea, valued at $2.8bn after shares soar in market debut

Acquisitions, rise in paid ticket sales contribute to 61.2% growth in revenues

Shares of event management and ticketing website Eventbrite soared on its market debut, ranking it 12th in terms of first trading day gains among this year’s crop of listings.

The ticketing and event planning company raised $230m in an initial public offering, earmarked for plans including debt repayment and investment in complementary businesses. Shares traded up 58.7 per cent to end their first day listed on the New York Stock Exchange at $36.50. The interest in the shares gave the company, which is backed by Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, a market value of $2.8bn.

Eventbrite’s early rally comes in what has been a strong year for US-listed IPOs. According to Dealogic, this year’s US listings are up by an average 29 per cent from their offer price. Eventbrite’s net revenue for the six months ended June 30 jumped 61.2 per cent to $142.1m from the same period a year ago, with the gain coming from a combination of paid ticket growth and acquisitions. The net loss widened to $15.6m from $8.3m. In 2017, 203m tickets were issued by the service in more than 170 countries.

“When we founded Eventbrite in 2006, we were not certain if live events were going to survive the digital revolution that was quickly reshaping society,” co-founders Julia Hartz, Kevin Hartz and Renaud Visage said in the company’s IPO documents. “Instead of gathering as communities in flesh and blood, would we instead accept less meaningful, if not more convenient, virtual meetups as a replacement? It turns out, the effect of social, mobile, data ubiquity and other trends in the last 10 years has accelerated the ability to fulfil the basic desire to connect.”

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