Miami Tech & Startup News

Revving up: Boca-based TicketRev lands $500k pre-seed round, joins Techstars accelerator

Revving up: Boca-based TicketRev lands $500k pre-seed round, joins Techstars accelerator

By Riley Kaminer

TicketRev is on the move.

The Boca Raton-based tech company, which has developed a reverse marketplace for event tickets, has just announced a $500,000 pre-seed round. Investors include 500 Startups, Soma Capital, and a smattering of angel investors. This month, the startup joined the Minnesota Twins Accelerator by Techstars – both of whom also contributed to the pre-seed fundraise.

“The big turning point for us was eMerge Americas back in April,” co-founder and CEO Jason Shatsky told Refresh Miami. It was at eMerge where TicketRev won $100,000: the grand prize for a pitch competition sponsored by his alma mater, Babson College.

“That was an unbelievable experience,” he recalled. “It also gave us validation for what we were doing.” These funds enabled Shatsky and co-founders Andrew Duca and Jabari Browne to double down on building their platform. 

TicketRev’s co-founders participate in Techstars accelerator in Minnesota. From left to right: Jason Shatsky (CEO), Chris Iles (Senior Director of Brand Experience & Innovation, Minnesota Twins), Andrew Duca (COO) and Jabari Browne (CTO). 

On most ticket-reselling platforms, sellers post the price of their tickets. But on TicketRev buyers post the tickets they’re looking for and the prices they’re willing to pay. Shatsky said that this buyer-focused approach “creates a truly transparent marketplace that shows actual value of tickets.” This stands in contrast to other resale websites, where the prices shown are “not representative of what buyers are paying.”

According to Shatsky, this process is also better for sellers because sales are instant. “As soon as you get to the event date, your tickets are worthless,” Shatsky noted. “This creates stress and puts pressure on sellers.” On TicketRev, sellers don’t have to wait for a buyer to purchase their ticket because buyers publicize exactly what they are willing to pay.

With this pre-seed capital, Shatsky signaled that they will expand their team to include a growth lead and a software engineer. This will help TicketRev further develop their platform, including a soon-to-be-released mobile app. Another feature in development will enable fans to bid for tickets across a multiple day performance – for example, a three-day series of Marlins games, or two Bad Bunny performances. 

Shatsky explained that these funds will also let TicketRev increase their marketing efforts, since most of their growth up to now has been through word of mouth. The platform already has upwards of 1,000 active users. According to TicketRev, these users save around 18% by buying through TicketRev, compared to buying on other marketplaces.

Through this three-month Techstars program, Shatsky plans to work directly alongside the Minnesota Twins team to bring their platform to the next level. Chris Iles, the Twins’ senior director of brand experience and innovation, underscored his excitement to work with TicketRev in an email to Refresh Miami.

“We’re thrilled to have TicketRev as part of the program as we believe what they’re building is highly disruptive to the current centralized ticketing model,” said Iles. “The fan experience is at the center of their technology, which has the potential to provide greater access for casual and future fans.”

Perhaps the timing for TicketRev is ideal, with frustrated fans taking to Twitter last week to share the difficulties they had with securing tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour.

For Shatsky, this kerfuffle shows the flaws fundamental to the traditional ticketing model. “It was a nightmare,” he said. “Ticketmaster could not handle the level of interest of fans looking to buy tickets. There are too many people trying to buy only with the intention of reselling. And ultimately, that process is creating an unfair market and an unfair advantage for certain people.”

That’s not the case with TicketRev, Shatsky explained, since their platform allows for customers to name their price – sidestepping the dynamic pricing algorithms at the core of other platforms.

TicketRev CEO Jason Shatsky was a Startup Showcase top 5 finalist on the main stage at eMerge Americas and he won $100,000 in a pitch contest sponsored by Babson at the 2022 conference.

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Riley Kaminer