Toronto-based online ticketing marketplace, Fanxchange has been acquired by leading US online ticket marketplace, Vivid Seats, for up to $80 million CAD ($60 million USD).
“Vivid Seats was definitely a natural fit for us and an acquisition made perfect sense.”
Fanxchange offers a ticket reselling marketplace for sporting, concert, and theatre events across North America. But that isn’t all it does, the Toronto company is also a leader in the B2B industry, powering white label live event ticketing solutions for loyalty programs, financial institutions, travel providers, hotel operators, e-commerce marketplaces, and distribution partners.
Its platform provides users of those programs and marketplaces access to tickets for a variety of live events. White label ticketing is typically a cloud solution for primary ticket retailers, (typically event organizers, venue operates, and distributors) looking to manage their own sales, sell under their brand name, and generally maintain control of access to events and venues, as well as client data. Fanxchange’s service essentially provides ticketing solutions to streamline how consumers find tickets by surfacing them from across multiple distribution verticals.
Fanxchange is working with a number of major loyalty and employee recognition programs, as well as large ecommerce ticket and event providers. It is also powering concierge services, working with them to provider ticketing options when users call in looking for event tickets.
Vivid Seats noted that it acquired Fanxchange because of these B2B capabilities.
“Vivid Seats was definitely a natural fit for us and an acquisition made perfect sense,” Brandon Koffler, CEO and co-founder of Fanxchange, told BetaKit. “Vivid Seats is an incredible B2C business and we’ve built a really meaningful B2B business. On top of which, we share a very common vision and mission, and together we’re going to continue to drive innovation and growth, enhance our product and consumer experience, and continue to streamline the whole live event ticketing experience.”
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Koffler noted that Fanxchange is excited about the opportunity to leverage Vivid Seats’ infrastructure and resources to rapidly scale growth in the enterprise distribution vertical.
“If you’re booking travel on any of the major sites, booking, lets say, a trip to Chicago, what [Fanxchange] wants to do is surface the hottest live event taking place at your destination during your dates of travel and that’s what we really call our distributed commerce model,” Koffler explained. “[Fanxchange is] surfacing those tickets where you’re already engaged in content and commerce and creating this…offering for consumers, for enhancing the in-destination experience.”
This acquisition is a first for Chicago-based Vivid Seats. The company stated that it hopes the move will further its position as one of the most trusted and comprehensive ticket marketplaces in North America.
“Vivid Seats is constantly exploring new ways to deliver more of the unparalleled joy of live events, that has fueled our success to date,” said Stan Chia, CEO of Vivid Seats. “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. We are thrilled to add their talented team and robust B2B platform, ultimately connecting more fans, sellers, and partners with superior technology and the best marketplace experience.”
“While other major secondary ticket providers focus on the consumer facing market, we’ve quickly become the dominant player in the B2B space.”
As the Toronto company becomes the B2B arm of Vivid Seats, things will continue to run ‘business as usual’, Koffler noted, expressing Fanxchange’s readiness to “hit the ground running.”
The CEO and his fellow co-founder Shawn Brookes will continue to run B2B and enterprise distribution from Fanxchange’s office in Toronto. Vivid Seats noted that this is its first move into the Toronto tech ecosystem, and will mark its first Toronto office location.
“Today’s announcement is really a credit to the hard work of our incredibly talented team of about 50 employees,” Koffler noted. “[This is] a great outcome for our company and our shareholders and we’re looking forward to our future with Vivid Seats”
Fanxchange was founded in 2009 by Koffler and Brookes. In 2016, it raised a $5 million Series B led by Azure Capital Partners and Plaza Ventures, and saw participation from existing investors including Gibraltar & Company.
Koffler noted at the time that the company focuses on servicing both its B2B partners as well as end-consumers.
“We’re providing the consumer access to premium live event tickets as well as ancillary products and offerings related to those live events, while providing our partners with best-in-class infrastructure to support the offering,” he stated. “While other major secondary ticket providers focus on the consumer facing market, we’ve quickly become the dominant player in the B2B space.”
Prior to co-founding Fanxchange, Koffler founded Hype Productions in 2001, a live event and promotions management company. He is notably the grandson of Murray Koffler, founder of Shoppers Drug Mart. His siblings, Dustin and Corey Koffler, launched Toronto-based vape manufacturer Green Tank Technologies in 2016, which recently closed a $14 million CAD Series A financing round.
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