Two Startups Finding Sucess in Market Dominated by Big Companies

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Two San Francisco companies are using new technology approaches to compete with the giant of the online ticketing market. One of the startup companies is Eventbrite, which announced in May that it had raised $50 million to finance its growth in the ticket market. Ticketfly is another startup ticketing business that announced in April it had raised $12 million in a second round of funding.

Eventbrite has aimed for a different audience than market dominator Ticketmaster by focusing on organizers of small events. It helps sell tickets to tech conferences and meetups of local groups. However, Eventbrite did succeed with a large event last summer when it sold 60,000 tickets for a Black Eyed Peas concert.

According to Eventbrite, the new funding is designated to help the company target larger events. There are also plans for adding more analytics and social media tools as well as investing in mobile products. The recent round of capital brings the total funding raised by Eventbrite to $79.5 million. The company says that it expects to process about $500 million of ticket sales in 2011.

Ticketfly has relied heavily upon social networking to expand its reach for ticketing of concerts and other events. The company offers tools for promoters and venue operators to create websites for specific events. This permits use of a single service to manage various sites for different concerts. Customers can set up automatic Twitter feeds and view analytical data about the payoff from multiple social networking sources.

The company has a database of 70,000 artists that simplifies connections for concert promoters. Ticketfly was formed by the founders of Ticketweb, which they sold to Ticketmaster. In a press release, one of the founders notes that event ticketing is undergoing significant changes that are driven by customer demand for better analytics and technology integration.

Companies like Eventbrite and Ticketfly offer customized online event registration and access to social media that helps spread the word. They provide tracking links so that event promoters know the best sources of traffic to their registration pages. Email addresses are saved in contact lists for sending future event announcements.

Other trends in ticketing services include waiting list management plus automatic generation of name badges and check-in lists.