Eventbrite, the 12-year-old, San Francisco-based event-planning company, has filed an initial public offering confidentially with the SEC and plans to go public later this year, according to a new report in the WSJ. The company’s lead underwriters are Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase & Co., it says.
The offering must seem a long time in coming for Eventbrite founders Julia Hartz; her husband, Kevin Hartz; and the company’s technical cofounder and CTO, Renaud Visage.
Originally created for individuals wanting to host smaller events and private parties, but who faced few few options aside creating Excel spreadsheets — remember, the ticketing world formerly revolved around stadiums and major sporting events — Eventbrite has grown steadily over the years into a corporate giant. It now powers ticketing for millions of events in more than 180 countries, and it has rung up more than $10 billion in cumulative tickets sales since its founding. According to Forbes, in 2017 alone, Eventbrite processed more than three million tickets per week to events, including conferences and festivals.
Part of the company’s growth has come through acquisitions. Last year, for example, Eventbrite acquired Ticketfly, a ticketing company that focused largely on the live entertainment industry that had sold to the streaming music company Pandora in 2015 for a reported $335 million but Eventbrite was able to nab last year for $200 million.
Eventbrite has also made a broader international push in recent years, acquiring Ticketea, one of Spain’s leading ticketing providers, back in April, and acquiring Amsterdam-based Ticketscript back in January of last year. And those deals followed roughly half a dozen others.
In the meantime, the company — which has raised roughly $330 over the years, including from Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, and DAG Ventures — has long been expected to go public, thanks in large part to its fairly turnkey and (we’d guess) lucrative business model.
Though we won’t see its numbers until closer to its IPO apparently, the company makes money off every transaction. For event organizers charging for ticket sales, Eventbrite’s fees vary by package, but one of its most popular packages collects 1 percent of the ticket price and $0.99 per paid ticket, plus another 3 percent for payment processing per transaction. It also sells a “professional package” wherein it collects 2.5 percent of the ticket price and $1.99 per paid ticket, plus a 3 percent payment processing fee per transaction. Last but not least, Eventbrite sells “premium package” with customized pricing.
Eventbrite is led by Julia Hartz, who took over the position of CEO in 2016, roughly six months after her husband, Kevin Hartz, stepped down from his chief executive duties owing to a “non-life-threatening medical condition.” Until that point, Hartz had primarily been tasked with overseeing marketing, customer support, sales, and human resources.
Both appeared earlier this month at the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, an event that attracts many of the wealthiest and most powerful people in U.S. media, technology, and sports, and whose attendees are often on the cusp of taking their companies public — if they haven’t already.
When Eventbrite does complete its IPO, Hartz will join a tiny but growing list of female founders to take their tech companies public.
Last October, when founder and CEO Katrina Lake took public her mail-ordering clothing service Stitch Fix , she became the first woman to take an internet company public in all of 2017.
Tech Stories Are Here.