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After years of bootstrapping Vendini raises $20 million for its ticketing platform

TechCrunch TechCrunch 31/05/2016 Jonathan Shieber

Nearly fifteen years after chief executive Mark Tacchi launched his ticketing servicesVendini to compete with the likes of TicketMaster, the company has raised its first $20 million in outside capital.

The new round came from New York-based private equity firm Level Equity.

“I started from scratch and basically grew it organically,” Tacchi says. “When I started it I was adamant that I wouldn’t take any outside money.”

What changed his mind was the opportunity that he sees to push more aggressively into the middle market for ticketing. While LiveNation’s TicketMaster controls large stadiums, Vendini is reaching out to the smaller venue with an all-in-one solution, Tacchi says.

“If I would have taken venture money or angel money I could have pointed the company in one of 64 different directions and pulling the trigger betting that it was going to be the right bet,” he says. “It was a luxury to sort of incubate and grow. I knew at some point we’d take financing, the question was the timing.”

While TicketMaster plays to large stadium owners and Eventbrite caters to small events, Vendini is doing everything in between, according to Tacchi. From small black-box general admission venues and comedy clubs to performing arts centers, and larger music halls, Vendini is the ticketing technology of choice, he said.

Roughly 330 colleges and universities use the service along with organizations like the United Nations, according to Tacchi.

Moving beyond simple ticketing, the company also provides a customer relationship management toolkit and monitoring technologies for venues, in addition to getting people through the door.

Clearly, there’s interest in the industry. Eventbrite has raised roughly $198 million in outside investment and TicketFly was sold to Pandora for $450 million for its take on the ticketing industry.

“We are thrilled to be joining the Vendini family,” said Level Equity partner George McCulloch, in a statement. “We’ve been impressed with the strong growth Mark and his team have achieved to date while successfully executing three acquisitions over the last four years without external capital. We’re excited to work together to continue expanding Vendini’s industry footprint and offerings.”

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