Viagogo launches with backing from Index
Red Herring broke cover on the funding received by ViaGoGo after its launch yesterday, picked up by Valerie. Eric Baker, co-founder of StubHub with current CEO Jeff Fluhr, is having another bite at the cherry by taking his original idea to the European market.
This is a large and exciting market; well done to Danny for getting in on the initial funding. The Viagogo management team looks broad and deep with senior people from Amazon, lastminute, and of course Stubhub.
I understand that the company raised a susbstantial angel round last year, though Red Herring now says ViaGogGo raised a whopping $20M. StubHub built most of its business on the back of $6.5M in funding; I wonder why they need so much money. One clue is given by the two exclusive football deals that they announced. From my (limited) experience with Sporever in France, football clubs only understand upfront cash, so I am assuming they effectively bought inventory off these guys or sponsored them (the way StubHub did in the US).
The football deals are pretty impressive but I must say I was a bit disappointed with the "other inventory". Not much in rock for example. Also, if you do a search for Rolling Stones tickets (Twickenham concert is coming up) I get many of their tiny competitors, I even get the real scalpers, but Viagogo essentially does not show up. I am sure they will fix this over time.
There may bit of a personal thing going on here as well between Fluhr and Baker. I met in the last few months with Andrew Blachmann who was at Wideray but whose Linked-In profile now says "StubHub Europe". It looks like a company founder is competing with another here. The MarketWatch article is more forward on ths point, talking of a "falling out".
Anyway this is an exciting category that will see some pretty exciting developments in the coming months, so stay tuned…