Google-Backed Ticket App Looks to Rival Ticketmaster
Thursday, September 3, 2015
CNBC.com (08/11/15) Kharpal, Arjun
U.K. startup Dice, which enables consumers to buy tickets without the booking fee, wants to grow large enough to rival companies such as Ticketmaster. Dice users can purchase tickets for events via a smartphone app. "In the past...you'd have to have ticket companies who would print off the tickets, perforate them up, put them in little envelopes, and mail them off," says Dice founder and CEO Phil Hutcheon. "But with Dice, the ticket goes immediately onto the fan's phone so it doesn't really cost us anything to do it." Hutcheon relies on relationships he has built with artists, promoters, and venues to provide listings for his platform. In July, Dice raised about $2 million in a round of funding that followed one in August 2014 that raised about $1.5 million. Mustafa Suleyman and Demis Hassabis, founders of Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind, are among the backers. Sales on the platform rose 60 percent in July, according to Dice. Hutcheon is now eyeing France for expansion, and expects to employ a staff of about 40 by the end of the year, up from the current 25, and look for more funding. Hutcheon adds another major goal is upgrading the app to keep people engaged.
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