“Our next challenge is using our additional funding and talent to start scaling our global distribution channels.”
Showpass, which allows its users to purchase event tickets directly on its website, offers merchandise add-ons with tickets, and scans tickets at point-of-sale, told BetaKit the acquisition fits well into the startup’s plans to grow its footprint in Eastern Canada. As part of the acquisition, Token’s founder and CEO, Bill Gaskey, will be joining the Showpass Partnerships team to help with Showpass’ Eastern Canadian expansion.
“We saw potential in Token’s virtual token technology, as it proved out in over 50 events over the last few years, including EverAfter Music Festival and Kitchener Beer and Ribfest,” Lucas McCarthy, founder and CEO of Showpass, told BetaKit. “With the Token app, organizers are seeing as much as a 24 percent increase in onsite sales.”
Founded in 2016, Showpass offers three pricing solutions for event organizers hosting less than 200 guests a year, growing businesses looking to pack the house, and established businesses that sell more than 1,000 tickets – for whom Showpass creates a custom solution. Showpass does not charge organizers who are hosting free events, and ticketing fees only get charged once the organizer sells a paid ticket.
The acquisition was closed shortly before Showpass raised a recent equity round, of an undisclosed amount. The company had also previously raised an undisclosed mezzanine (debt and equity) investment from BDC, in March 2018.
Showpass works with its users to develop a seller network by giving them access to promo items and brick-and-mortar experiences, the company also provides ticket discounts for buyers that share on their social network. Showpass said it signed several event organizers and venues this year, including Pride Calgary, the Vancouver Christmas Market, Enthusiast Gaming Conference, US Squash, and Old Home Week PEI, among others. This year, the startup also introduced QuickQ, a feature using QR Code technology to help event-goers skip the line.
In January 2018, Showpass signed on as a native event ticketing partner with Facebook, meaning that Facebook users no longer need to leave Facebook to purchase tickets for events listed on the site. The company said it plans to double its headcount by the end of 2020, adding 40 new hires to its Calgary office, with plans to organize a tech hiring event in the coming months.
“Showpass’ vision is to offer exceptional event experiences to people around the world. This starts by making events seamless for organizers and ticket-buyers with thoughtful technology, making ticket purchasing easy on and offline,” McCarthy said. “Now that we have the tools, the tech, and the people in place to manage offline and online ticketing, our next challenge is using our additional funding and talent to start scaling our global distribution channels.”
Image courtesy Showpass