Lyte Raises $33 Million In a Series B Round — They’ll Need It to Take on Ticketmaster

Photo Credit: Matthew Kalapuch

Live event ticketing platform Lyte has raised $33 million in a Series B funding round — capital that they’ll need as they attempt to take on Ticketmaster once concerts and music festivals resume.

Lyte higher-ups shared the $33 million fundraising round — which arrives about 14 months following the company’s $15 million Series A round — in an email to Digital Music News. This latest multimillion-dollar tranche consists of “a combination of equity and debt,” which Lyte intends to use “to continue its rapid growth” and reach more tours, festivals, and venues.

Former Facebook exec Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital, 87-year-old music mainstay Quincy Jones, and Triller stakeholder Rocketship VC are among Lyte’s new backers, who joined existing investors such as Jackson Square Ventures and Accomplice in fronting the cash. The four-year-old platform’s founder and CEO, Ant Taylor, indicated that his company intends to deliver optimized ticket-purchase experiences “to millions of eventgoers worldwide by the end of 2021.”

In September, Lyte announced a “first-of-its-kind partnership” with North London-born artist Jacob Collier – who, it bears mentioning, met with Quincy Jones at 19, ultimately signing to the 80-time Grammy nominee’s management company. As part of the Lyte deal, Collier announced a 91-stop tour – with just the cities, not the dates or venues, set in stone – and enabled fans “to reserve a ticket to a concert in the city of their choice.”

With a reservation, “fans are guaranteed first access” to shows in their cities once the preliminary details are announced. However, potential attendees won’t pay for passes until after the venue and date are unveiled and they confirm that they can in fact make the gig. Aside from possibly reducing the prevalence of scalping and preventing fans’ cash from being stuck in limbo for months on end, the arrangement will see Collier and his team select each concert’s venue based upon fan demand in the respective city.

Addressing his company’s Series B funding round in a statement, Lyte CEO Ant Taylor said, in part: “Fans should be able to support their favorite artists, venues and events without the worry of what to do with their tickets if their life plans change, nor should they be driven to the unregulated secondary market and learn to become amateur ticket scalpers just because they need their money back.”

Several fans have filed lawsuits against Ticketmaster this year, alleging that the Live Nation-owned ticketing platform changed its refund policy following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, a judge ruled in one such complaint that by signing into Ticketmaster’s website, a customer had accepted the entity’s terms of use – including an arbitration agreement.

And StubHub, which Viagogo officially purchased in mid-February of this year, for over $4 billion, is also facing class-action complaints over its refund terms.