Q&A With TiqIQ
Jesse Lawrence, founder and CEO, TiqIQ (pronounced tick-i-q)
What is your company's mission?
TiqIQ [has] the singular mission to make buying event tickets more transparent and efficient, and simpler. The company delivers on that mission each day by providing ticket buyers with real-time information on the latest price trends and access to the best deals from all sellers, for any event.
TiqIQ has grown to become the largest online aggregator of event tickets, reaching millions of consumers a month through TiqIQ.com, as well as its network of nearly 1,000 publishers, ranging from The Washington Post to the best sports and music blogs. Whether on TiqIQ.com, a partner site, Facebook or Twitter, the company's platform connects seamlessly with fans interested in seeing their favorite teams, artist and shows.
Explain your business model—how do you make money?
We make money through transactional revenue share and advertising revenue. We generate about 50% of our revenue from each. On the advertising side, we work with more than 20 clients, including teams and secondary sellers, and help them reach targeted audiences on TiqIQ.com and through our publisher network. Collectively, we reach more than 6 million social media subscribers through our network. Because our advertisers pay us for the distribution, we don't charge users any extra fees.
Who are your competitors in this space, and how are you different?
Seat Geek: As the other major aggregator, we're different because in addition to giving people access to search and buy on TiqIQ.com, we power ticket sales for more than 1,000 publishers, ranging from SBNation, The Washington Post, and Voice Media group to hundreds of independent blogs. Here are examples of deals we've distributed via our network.
This distribution let's us help advertising partners with much more targeted reach, in real time. As an example, for a 7 p.m. game, we can drive hundreds of clicks at, say, 5 p.m., when prices may start to decline most. This lets sellers get ahead of the market versus just reacting by simply lowering prices. Buyers also pay fewer or no fees, because we're not charging service fees.
StubHub: It allows for just fixed-price sellers, and the user can take it or leave it. We provide three different ways to buy: Fixed Price, Auctions and Make an Offer. StubHub also charges buyers up to 20% on transactions. We don't charge any additional fees on tickets we sell. We also aggregate both primary seller (like Ticketmaster) and secondary (like TicketsNow), while StubHub is all secondary. As primary sellers, such as teams, begin to compete via 'dynamic pricing,' it will become even more important to include primary sellers for buyers to make informed decisions.
Craigslist: It doesn't provide any transparency about who you're buying from. SellerDirect provides the same communication capabilities as Craigslist, with the identity verification.
Where are your headquarters?
New York City.
Number of full-time employees?
Contour Venture Partners and Inovia Capital
Lawrence is formerly a venture capitalist and also worked at IAC's programming group, helping to start, buy or operate businesses including College Humor, Vimeo and The Daily Beast. Lawrence also ran 3rd-party data strategy and partnerships for MediaMath, the leading Demand Side Platform for agencies and brands.
In addition to overseeing TiqIQ's business operations, Lawrence is a contributing blogger at Business Insider, Forbes, Huffington Post and more.
Any information you'd like to add?
In early February, TiqIQ launched SellerDirect, a "more civilized" way to sell tickets to same-day games, events and concerts with built-in identity verification and details such as the view from a particular seat.