Venture that TickX the right boxes

Big tick: Steve Pearce, co-founder and CEO, and Sam Coley, co-founder and CTO, have secured �3m of Series a funding.
Big tick: Steve Pearce, co-founder and CEO, and Sam Coley, co-founder and CTO, have secured �3m of Series a funding.
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A search engine and comparison site for event tickets is looking to roll out its service across Europe and expand its offering by comparing cinema tickets.

TickX, which was launched by two Yorkshire entrepreneurs in 2015, has managed to raise £3m in Series A funding.

Business decision: Steve Pearce and Sam Coley made a pitch on Dragons' Den. Pic: BBC.

Business decision: Steve Pearce and Sam Coley made a pitch on Dragons' Den. Pic: BBC.

Steve Pearce, CEO and co-founder of TickX, told The Yorkshire Post that the reason why investors were “excited” about the business was due to a gap in the attractions and cinema price comparisons market.

“There’s no one really filling that gap on a local or global scale,” he said. “That’s the gap we’re filling at the moment. There’s a huge opportunity there.”

TickX will be introducing price comparison for cinema tickets in May and the company’s CEO believes that the platform can help make new releases more visible.

Mr Pearce said: “Absolutely there’s an audience. People are always keen to go to big blockbusters or independent films.

“The big issue with cinema is discovery. People find out about the films after they’ve been aired.

“Where we can add value, particularly to cinema chains looking to reach a wider audience, is we had over one million people looking for things to do last year. We were driving them towards events.

“Once we launch the cinema offering we can direct them towards films which are being released as well.”

TickX is forging ahead with a Europe-wide expansion and while other British businesses are cautious against the backdrop of Brexit, the ticket comparison platform believes its business model will make the growth more manageable.

Mr Pearce said: “We’re looking to have full Europe-wide coverage by the end of the year.

“The nature of how our model works is, when we’re expanding into new territories, we reach out to our international partners and ask them to turn on their international coverage.

“Once we have these players on board, then we go after the smaller independent partners to ensure that we have a diversity of experiences out there.

“The fact that were dealing with a couple of hundred ticket sellers over thousands of event promoters makes it a lot more manageable because they’re dealing with the local laws and we’re simply providing a market channel to help our partners reach a new audience and drive additional sales.”

TickX is looking to provide users with a “more rounded” service. The firm says that just because someone follows a certain band it doesn’t mean that they only look for music gigs or go to concerts of that genre.

The platform hopes to do this by creating profiles of its users so that they can be intelligently targeted with recommendations.

“We want to be the destination for people discovering all types of experiences and we want to have as many touchpoints with our users as possible,” Mr Pearce said.

The platform has managed to attract a “varied audience” over the past few years, according to Mr Pearce, with people using TickX for different reasons.

He said: “Some of our audience use us purely for discovery – to find where to go locally. Some use us to look at the availability. A lot of our users use us for tracking their favourite artists, comedians and sports teams. Finally we have people who use it purely for comparisons. We’ve got an incredible amount of student users using our platform but we also have a huge theatre following as well.”

TickX says it is working with West Yorkshire Playhouse to provide interactive 3D maps with views from the seats.

The Manchester-based firm hopes to grow from a team of 15 to 35.

Rejecting the Dragons

TIckx was founded by Steve Pearce, who is originally from Ilkley, and Sam Coley, who is from Harrogate.

The duo appeared on the BBC TV show Dragons’ Den over a year ago, where they turned down a £75,000 investment. Mr Pearce says the duo don’t regret turning down the offer.

He said: “We do not have any regrets at all. At the time our friends and family called us idiots for turning down the offers but fortunately it all came off.”

The recent £3m Series A funding was led by BGF Ventures and supported by the likes of 24Haymarket and Ministry of Sound.