Ticketfly Talks Big About Unseating TicketMaster

Mohr Davidow Ventures held an event this week to highlight a top investment theme: capitalizing on the proliferation of big data.

As Internet content of all types proliferates in an increasingly connected world, big opportunities exist for startups helping oil drillers, financial institutions and retailers manage, protect and make sense of the flood of raw information streaming into their servers.

Several promising portfolio companies talked about their efforts to build substantial businesses in this new world: the database company ParAccel, software maker Panasas, e-mail security vendor Proofpoint and Rocket Fuel, an advertising analysis company.

But one company caught my eye for sheer ambition, and somewhat apart from the big data theme. It was ticket vendor Ticketfly, which raised a $12 million Series B round in April led by Mohr Davidow and joined by existing investors High Peaks Venture Partners, Contour Venture Partners and angel Roger Ehrenberg.

The round helped Ticketfly put reigning titan TicketMaster squarely in its sights. TicketMaster of course, is often described as the ticket monopoly that people love to hate.

Owned by Live Nation, it is seen as old school and slow to adopt new technology – which is where Ticketfly hopes to come in. Its goal is to help events promoters use social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and with its Analytics Dashboard, announced this week, better monitor marketing efforts.

Ticketfly also speaks with a punch. “We think the market is ready for an alternative,” says Andrew Dreskin, co-founder of the company (pictured).

He says too much data in the ticket and promotions business is held in silos, so that promoters don’t get a comprehensive view of their efforts.

The company has been generating revenue for two years, and is now growing at a 100% annual pace, he says, with 200 clients.

The ticket business is a fragmented market, says Dreskin. “I think there will be consolidation in the future.”

Clearly, Ticketfly hopes to be a consolidator. It is a sentiment likely shared by Mohr General Partner Bryan Stolle, who talked up Ticketfly’s chances against the industry king, TicketMaster. “There’s real revenue going on here,” he says of his startup.

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