Vivid Seats has confirmed its first acquisition.
The indie secondary ticketing platform has purchased FanXechange for ‘up to’ $85 million CAD ($64 million USD).
Founded in 2009 by Brandon Koffler and Shawn Brooks, the Toronto-based white-label company focuses on providing live ticketing solutions for banks, travel and hotel providers, loyalty programs, concierge services, and e-commerce sites, among other distribution partners.
As stated earlier, this marks the first acquisition for Chicago-based Vivid Seats. With the acquisition, Vivid Seats now employs around 550 employees. Though now a subsidiary, Koffler and Brooks will continue leading FanXchange’s team and distribution vertical in Toronto.
Speaking about the purchase, Stan Chia, Vivid Seats’ CEO, says his company continuously explores “new ways to deliver…unparalleled joy of live events.”
“With FanXchange, their focus on servicing the live event ticketing needs of distribution partners is an important complement to the consumer marketplace that we’ve built to date.”
FanXChange’s team and B2B platform, he added, will enable Chia’s company to connect more fans, sellers, and partners to the “best marketplace experience.”
Stating that he built a company and platform “driven by innovation,” Koffler, CEO of FanXchange, added,
“With access to Vivid Seats’ infrastructure, resources and scale, we can rapidly accelerate our growth in enterprise and distribution.
“We’re very excited about this opportunity.”
Following the acquisition, Vivid Seats reportedly plans to hire around 100 more employees. At least half of them will work in product, engineering, and data science roles.
Chia’s company remains in hot water following an investigation into Ticketmaster’s resale ‘tools’ last year. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the Toronto Star found Trade Desk allows scalpers to sync their Ticketmaster.com accounts to online resale operations on sites including StubHub and Vivid Seats.
Confirming the report, and hinting that the competition also openly works with scalpers, Ticketmaster President Jared Smith likened Trade Desk to Vivid Seats’ own resale product, Skybox.
“TradeDesk is Ticketmaster’s version of an inventory management tool for professional ticket resellers (brokers). It’s neither secret nor unique to Ticketmaster.
“Like StubHub’s product called Ticket Utils or Vivid Seats’ Skybox, TradeDesk is used by brokers [i.e., scalpers] to manage tickets they already have.”
Chia’s company has yet to issue a formal response to the #Scalpergate allegations, on whether or not the company works in tandem with scalpers.