Ticket Exchange Tixers Acquired By OneUp Sports
The ticket-exchange company Tixers was acquired last week by OneUp Sports, marking a transition for the startup that made waves on the secondary market industry in less than a year. Tixers is a credit-exchange solution allowing ticket holders to instantly receive value for unusable tickets that can be redeemed to future events.
Tixers had been a Cincinnati startup success story in 2012, when founder Alex Burkhart pitched the idea. Graduating through UpTech’s March 2014 accelerator, Tixers won a SXSW Ventures competition, finishing with a major seeding round that brought total fundraising to $400,000. Tixers went on to form a partnership with Xaiver University, and began seeing volumes of customers buying and trading tickets to major sporting events around the world. By early 2015, Tixers had been named one of six Cincinnati startups to watch.
Tixers Keeping Burkhart, Employees
Now, he and his two employees, Anthony Sinders and Jay Clouse, will be staying with the company under a different owner in OneUp Sports, which focuses mainly on proprietary team app platform solutions for the Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Lakers and other exclusive licensing partnerships.
The acquisition allows Tixers to become the go-to for fans utilizing the OneUp app, locating seats to upcoming games in an exchange system while rooting for their favorite teams. Burkhart said that with the secondary market constantly evolving, it means that experts in the space with over 20 years of experience are trying to navigate the changes as well.
“It’s very much like the stock market,” Burkhart said. “You can have all the right tools and resources in the world, but sometimes, it just takes a life of its own.”
Secondary Market Is Changing
Burkhart sees the old ideas of cash being king, and the traditional secondary market system being the norm, starting to fade to newer concepts.
“There is an emerging segment of people who really understand the value, mainly from the time saving, cost saving, and risk mitigation that an exchange program for tickets can provide,” Burkhart said.
The reactions from most secondary market brokers has been pretty positive when using the Tixers platform, Burkhart said.
“Some really get it and actually leverage us for some tickets they need recoup some sort of ‘value’ for,” he said. “Others just try us out once just to test us and then we don’t hear from them again. This is very different from our core user base who are very loyal to our system. ”
The goal of Tixers is now to find the brand, growing the ticket exchange concept not only nationally but globally. Especially with OneUp Sports’ already strong European marketplace presence.
“Building a recognized brand is very hard,” Burkhart said. “The big guys spend a lot of money and resources to build their brands so its definitely easier said than done to do that. I think too many people think, well only if I could just charge a less commission or have cheaper tickets then people will come. This isn’t the case. There is something very much to be said about the value of a widely recognized brand. We still haven’t even scratched the surface ourselves.”
Challenges Ahead For Secondary
Burkhart sees the challenges coming from the primary side of the business, in the form of regulations, to be a big issue with the secondary market overall. He cites StubHub’s lawsuit against The Golden State Warrirors and Ticketmaster, as well as Flashseats and The Cleveland Cavaliers, as specific examples.
“Many primary providers want to control as much of the market as possible. Which makes sense in a way,” Burkhart said. “Definitely see it becoming a more consolidated market in the near future. We still hope to continue to be a compliment to it all.”