Tixel ticks another box, this time securing a $1.5 million capital raise which the company will invest in scaling up its platform as the barriers to live music slowly peel back.
The new round, announced this morning, is especially notable for its line-up of music industry players.
Investors include Future Classic, I OH YOU, Rose Avenue, UNIFIED Music Group, and Alberts, whose CEO David Albert now joins the Tixel Board of Directors.
“We see this investment as a signal of confidence in live events,” Zac Leigh, co-founder and CEO of Tixel, tells TIO.
“Things are obviously in a state of repair. From a recovery perspective, the signs are good,” he continues.
The brainchild of Leigh, Jason Webb and Denis Mysenko, Tixel was created in 2017 and launched the following year to play in the space of facilitating legitimate ticket sales for concerts, festivals and live events.
Its ambition from the outset: to create a safer and fairer way to buy and sell tickets online. All sales on the platform are capped at 10% above face value.
Never miss industry news
Get the latest music industry news, insights, and updates straight to your inbox. Learn more
“We’re helping event organisers sell more tickets and fill their shows, in addition to helping fans buy tickets safely,” he explains. “That’s where most of the funds are going.”
According to Leigh, 70% of events don’t sell out. And, on average, up to 30% of tickets change hands ahead of showtime. That’s where Tixel fits in.
Currently, the ticket resale platform’s partners include Beyond the Valley, Strawberry Fields, and The Corner Hotel, and primary ticketers Eventbrite, Humanitix and Oztix.
Its business model, like others operating in live entertainment, has been totally exposed to the pandemic.
“It’s been challenging,” Leigh admits. “We’re very lucky to be in Australia and we’ve been able to weather the storm.”
With the downtime created by the international lockdown, Tixel’s team “committed the time to improve the product,” to get prepared for the big reopening, Leigh explains.
The national vaccine rollout, however, has proven equal parts slow, clumsy and frustrating; look no further than the outbreak in Melbourne and the millions currently locked down as evidence that we’re still at the mercy of the novel coronavirus.
Matters are “looking much more optimistic in the concerts space,” reckons Leigh. “We’ve got through the worst of it.”
The confidence isn’t misplaced. As consumers return to restaurants, hospitality is surging (a dearth of skilled workers is another issue).
“We anticipate high trading volume as events begin to return,” says Leigh, noting Tixel reported its busiest month ever for April, in terms of number of events traded on the platform.
Investor Future Classic entered into talks during peak-pandemic.
The independent music company, whose roster boasts Flume, G Flip and rising star Sycco, among others, is playing the long-game.
In an industry blighted by scalping, equitable and transparent transactions “appeal to us,” says Harry White, the independent music company’s Los Angeles-based General Manager.
Also, he notes, Tixel’s data insights allows the music specialist to cater to fans ahead of the “huge reopen”.
It’s not far off, certainly in the U.S. where a tasty round of festivals have been announced in recent days, including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.
“Artists are all aligned in wanting to get as many fans the right access for the right ticket price as possible,” says White. “We were excited to see an Australian company doing that in an intelligent way.”
The lion’s share of Tixel’s ticket inventory is in Australia and New Zealand, with further growth anticipated in the back half of 2021 in the U.K. and U.S., where vaccination rates far exceed those in Australia and NZ.
The industry in these parts is ready and waiting at the starting blocks.
Having an “independent ethical ticket resale marketplace in Australia can mean more fans at shows, more bar and merch sales for our venues and importantly an all-round better experience for everyone involved,” enthuses Albert.
“We’re big fans of what Zac, Jason, and Denis have created and the way they handled the stresses and strains of the pandemic.”