Monday, 23 August 2010

Technology Venture: EVENTBRITE

Company Summary and History
Kevin Hartz, Julia Hartz and Renaud Visage founded Eventbrite, formerly known as MollyGuard, launching it in 2006 as Eventbrite. The San Francisco-based company is a “social commerce” company specialising in small to medium sized live events and experiences. Eventbrite helps its event organisers manage events online, ticket sales, credit card payments and registrations.

Key People
Kevin Hartz: CEO and co-founder of Eventbite. He is also an early stage investor, advisor and partner in various companies who started his career as a product manager. Hartz co-founded Connect Group, the hotel internet access company (acquired by Lodgenet), and Xoom Corporation the international online remittance company. He has also invested in more than 16 start-ups including Flixter, Friendster and Paypal. Kevin Hartz is a limited partner in four venture capital firms and is a special technology partner at Sequoia Capital.

Julia Hartz: President and co-founder of Eventbrite. She began her career at MTV Networks working in creative development on shows such as Jackass prior to joining FX Networks as creative executive where she was responsible for series development. Julia is married to Kevin.

Renaud Visage: Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Eventbrite started his career at Geomatrix Consultants before his role as Director of Engineering at Zing Networks, the online photo sharing site. He's also a successful architectural and travel photographer. Renaud Visage holds degrees in Engineering and Computer Sciences from the Cornell University and Ecole Centrale de Lyon.

Start-up Capital Raised
The Eventbrite founders bootstrapped the company for 2 years (2006-2008) with 150,000 USD in capital. In 2009, the company received 6.5 million USD in series C funding from Sequoia Capital. Eventbrite has raised a total of 9.9 million USD in Venture Capital funding.

Investors Exit Strategy
Sequoia Capital's Roelof Botha currently sits on Eventbrite board of directors. Eventbrite is concentrating on growing the business.

Growth and Acquisition Strategy
Eventbrite focused on product development and engineering from 2006-2008. Marketing the company through viral, and word of mouth recommendations has enabled it to build a loyal customer base of nearly 10 million registered users and 100 million USD worth of ticket sales. The market focus has been the "long tail" of events. The company plans to scale up the business with a target of 1 billion USD worth of ticket sales and over 100 million registered users. 85% of Eventbrite's sales are from the United States with only 15% from overseas. Eventbrite plans to increase worldwide ticket sales and its presence overseas. The company also wants to expand vertically into conferences, classes, social events, music and sporting events.

Outlook
Eventbrite is set to benefit from the increased public demand for online registration and ticketing for events. The focus is on their mission to "make events as easy to create, find, and attend as possible".

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