Sure, you could build a nice business around selling tickets to sports games and concerts. TiqIQ has done that.
But lately it’s been wending its way into a more fascinating position: slinger of data about which sites still have tickets to a game and how much those tickets cost.
TiqIQ now licenses its fine-grained data to 35 teams, including the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Kings, and the University of Oregon’s Ducks. They can visualize data on TiqIQ’s site, or they can export it for use in their own proprietary systems.
Investors like what TiqIQ is up to. Today the company is announcing $1.7 million in new funding. Stonehenge Growth Capital led the round, and Azoic Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, iNovia Capital, and MediaMath also participated.
The company has now raised $3.5 million since starting in 2009, including a $1.7 million round it announced in February 2012.
TiqIQ didn’t mean to morph into a company that makes money based on a data product — right alongside data-rich webscale giants like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Initially, employees used back-office software to observe changes in ticket availability and prices from sites like eBay, StubHub, TicketCity, and Vivid Seats. Then the company started opening up about some trends and sharing findings with reporters and bloggers who might be interested.
But for the past year or so, TiqIQ has been essentially branching out into the world of selling its data, founder and chief executive Jesse Lawrence said in an interview with VentureBeat.
The idea of selling ticket data for teams isn’t brand new. StubHub already has reseller relationships with leagues, which provide data to teams — but only for tickets for sale on StubHub, Lawrence said. And that might not be a very accurate data set if the little third-party ticket sellers together have just as many tickets in stock as StubHub does.
Teams can use TiqIQ’s data to determine the best prices for the tickets they still have on hand to sell to fans directly. And a team’s salespeople can use the data to do the best job of getting season ticket holders to renew.
“If they’re calling a season ticket subscriber and saying, ‘Hey, we want to renew your season tickets,’ they’ll use this data to kind of help you understand what kind of value they can recoup on the market by selling those tickets,” Lawrence said.
Now, he said, it’s gotten to the point that a third of TiqIQ’s revenues come from data sales, and the rest comes from regular e-commerce sales, whereby TiqIQ gets a cut of ticket sales when its technology is involved on blogs and other websites.
The new funding will help TiqIQ add to its data product — with ways to predict what prices and ticket availability based on factors like weather and the strength of opponents, for example — as well as the e-commerce part of the business.
New York-based TiqIQ has now accrued more than 5 million monthly unique users and a revenue run rate of around $20 million a year, Lawrence said.