Sunday 20 October 2019

‘Skyscanner for events’ has landed in Ireland - no more frantic website-hopping for gig tickets

Steve and Sam on Dragons' Den
Steve and Sam on Dragons' Den
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The days of frantic website-hopping in an attempt to bag tickets to events are over as has just launched in Ireland.

Tickx is the UK's leading ticket event aggregator which provides a one-stop shop where event goers can find out what's on, compare prices, and buy tickets with no added fees.

"People describe us as Skyscanner for events," reveals co-founder and CEO Steve Pearce. "We pull over 70,000 music, comedy, festival, theatre and sporting events and over 40 partners into one single platform. 

"It’s one place where you can see all the events happening, who is selling tickets, and who is the cheapest.  It also gives our ticket partners a wider audience."

The website has partnered with the most popular ticket selling platforms in Ireland, including Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, SeeTickets, Tickets.IE, Seatwave, GetMeIn, Viagogo and Ticketbis.

Free to use for ticket buyers, gets its revenue from a small commission on bookings from their ticket partners.

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Using Apple and Spotify integration, buyers can also track their favourite artists and will be alerted when they're playing locally.

"We’re focused on not spamming our users so we’ll learn what our users love and let them know if there’s a new batch of tickets," says Steve.  "So if your favourite artist is Beyonce and she's playing Dublin and new dates are added we’ll let you know."

With ticket buyers becoming increasingly frustrated with losing out on tickets to popular gigs, Tickx sounds like it might be the holy grail, but Steve admits there may sometimes be a slight delay on accessing tickets via their partners.

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Tickx co-founder & CEO Steve Pearce (L) and co-founder and CTO Sam Coley (R)

"We sync our feed six times each day so it’s as updated as it can be but sometimes there can be a slight discrepancy for half an hour or so," he says.

"From time to time [it’s best to go directly to the ticketing website] but it’s very rare that that would be the case."

He adds, "We have a lot of people who use us for different reasons.  Some use us for discovery – finding out where to go, some to see availability.  If Ed Sheeran releases tickets and it looks like they've sold out straight away, often there are tickets available on other primary outlets.

"People think they have to go to the secondary market but there may be tickets available on other primary outlets.  It’s best to come to us and have a look and see what’s available."

While Steve says they "promise that if you buy a ticket it’s from a secure partner", if issues do arise they are between the purchaser and the ticket partner so buyers are urged to be vigilant.

"But we have good relationships – we’re happy to help our customers," he adds.

If Tickx sounds familiar it may be because Steve and his co-founder Sam Coley turned down investment on the UK version of Dragons' Den.

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Steve and Sam on Dragons' Den

They appeared on the show in January after being invited by programme's researcher.

Dragon Peter Jones described Tickx as "the Uber of events" and the young entrepreneurs received two offers of £75,000 from Jones and Nick Jenkins in partnership for 20 per cent equity and one from Touker Suleyman for 15 per cent.

They rejected both.

"We went on looking for investment but we felt the offers undervalued our business," says Steve.

"Our parents and our family and our friends thought we were absolutely crazy and idiots at the time.  Fortunately, it paid off – we [have since] got 10 times more than we asked for in the Den."

Jones said that they could live to regret the decision but, since the episode aired, TickX has raised an additional £750,000, increased revenue by 500%, reached 150,000 users per month, and launched the world’s first ever event search engine ChatBot.

They have received investment from 24Haymarket alongside investment from former Chairman of BskyB Nick Ferguson and Stan Boland, who led and built four technology companies, creating businesses acquired for over $1.5 billion.

"We’ve been approached by some big players who have been impressed by what we have achieved in a short period of time," says Steve who adds that once they launch in Ireland this week they'll launch in Spain next month.

"It's all quite fast but we know we've got to strike while the iron is hot!" he says.

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