SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Lyte announces $15 million Series A financing.
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Lyte CEO Ant Taylor founded the company on the firm belief that fans and rights-holders could take back control of the secondary market if given the right technology tools. Lyte has now secured $15 million in Series A financing to drive development of the platform, scale operations, and continue to revolutionize the live entertainment experience for all stakeholders. By working with partners in the live event industry, Lyte delivers on a simple yet previously out-of-reach consumer proposition: real tickets at fair prices.
"We made a foundational bet we could build a platform and marketplace that included and benefited all of the folks with financial and emotional investment in this industry - rights holders, talent, enterprise ticketing companies as well as fans," says Ant Taylor, Lyte's CEO, "This raise is a validation of that bet. It's a win for our partners and the future of the live events ecosystem."
Jackson Square Ventures was joined by Industry Ventures, Accomplice Ventures, and Correlation Ventures to close Lyte's latest funding round, alongside powerful entertainment and technology industry insiders, including Bernie Cahill and Greg Suess's Activist Artist Management, Chris Martin, former CTO of Pandora, serial marketplace entrepreneur, Matt Mickiewicz, Co-Founder of 99 Designs, Hired and Flippa, and digital media entrepreneur, Rob Goldberg, CEO of Fresno Unlimited and Lyte Board Member.
"Lyte has an amazing opportunity to radically improve the customer experience in a sector that has seen fundamentally little innovation over the last decade," said Mickiewicz, Co-Founder of Hired, 99 Designs and Flippa. "Their marketplace is both reducing risk and redefining the fan experience in a way that actually grows the overall market."
"When Bernie Cahill and I first met Ant in 2016, we thought he had the right instincts about what the industry needs," said Greg Suess, founding partner at Activist Artist Management. "Three years later we were blown away at Lyte's results. They are relentless executors. Our portfolio has also grown to include sports and entertainment as well. Lyte fills a need across all live events. That's why we're backing them."
"Lyte is the first marketplace of its kind to utilize digital ticketing to fundamentally improve the fan experience," said Josh Breinlinger, Jackson Square Ventures partner and Lyte Board Member. "We're excited about this investment because it has excellent marketplace characteristics: highly fragmented supply and demand, high repeat usage with different stakeholders, proprietary supply of tickets, improved experience through technology, and it's all embedded in the payment flow."
This capital accelerates Lyte's mission to build a new category in live entertainment: post-primary ticketing, manifested as private label ticketing services offered to fans by the most iconic sports and entertainment brands, including Coachella, Mumford & Sons, Comic Cons in New York City and Seattle, and scores more. Over a dozen of the world's top primary ticketing companies have integrated Lyte into their platforms, including AEG's Elevate, Live Nation's Front Gate and Eventbrite, along with their Ticketfly subsidiary. As a platform, Lyte claims 60 percent of the $13 billion secondary market for the events it powers.
"When our clients choose Lyte, they are choosing a platform that addresses the customer needs ignored by the traditional secondary market, and it does so in a way that is fair to fans, controlled by rights holders and which harnesses the best in yield management and marketplace science," says Lawrence Peryer, Lyte's Head of Business and Corporate Development. "Lyte puts control, revenue and insights into the hands of event-producers, while providing a simple, safe, and affordable fan experience. Combined with this funding round, the consortium of entities involved, our name-brand clients and legions of happy fans - Lyte's platform is changing the face of ticketing while closing the door on the incumbent secondary players."
Lyte has seen explosive growth this year, matching its 2018 revenue by Q1 and growing reservations booked on the platform to $78M year-to-date, up 5-fold from a year ago. Taylor and Lyte have partnered with more than 50 major music, food and wine and pop culture festival partners across the country - in addition to 300 music venues and touring artists. They have now set their sights on new adjacent verticals in sports and entertainment and non-US markets.
"This important company milestone is just the beginning and our clients and partners know it," said Taylor, "We are creating a category that will challenge and overtake the incumbent secondary ticketing model. That is super exciting."
Lyte's mission is to fill every seat and make ticketing delightful, making it easier for fans to attend more events. In an industry where a "no refunds and no cancellations" policy is the standard, Lyte enables fans to return their event tickets, no questions asked, to the official point of purchase. Lyte also provides a safe and official reservation booking system, offering fans who sign up a fair price for in-demand tickets. Lyte has delivered well over $5MM in fan savings since inception. One hundred percent of the tickets bought and sold through Lyte are issued through ticketing partners and delivered directly to fans with no chance of being fraudulent. Visit lyte.com.