SPH Media Fund invests in e-ticketing platform

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(From left) Peatix co-founders Taku Harada (CEO); Emi Takemura (chief marketing officer and head of Asia); Naofumi Iwai (chief operating officer and president of Japan business); and Yuji Fujita (chief strategy officer). The mobile ticketing platform is available for download as an app for Apple and Android devices. It is also available on the Web.

SPH Media Fund, the corporate venture capital fund of Singapore Press Holdings, is part of a group of investors that has pumped US$5 million (S$7 million) into global online ticketing platform Peatix.

The new funding will help Peatix invest in technology to drive more user traffic to the events listed on its platform, said Ms Emi Takemura, co-founder and head of Peatix in Asia.

Peatix will also use the capital to improve the way sponsors reach out to event attendees and expand its presence in new regional markets.

Peatix is a mobile ticketing platform available for download as an app for Apple and Android devices. It is also available on the Web.

The platform, launched in Japan in 2011, has served over 50,000 events globally with more than 1.2 million tickets sold.

It is available in 26 countries, with local teams in Singapore, New York City, Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur. The company has five employees in Singapore.

There are now about 250 Singapore events running at any one time on Peatix, up from just two or three in 2013, said Ms Takemura in an interview with The Straits Times.

"Events on Peatix - like concerts, meet-ups, tech events - tend to be organised by independent organisers, not big corporations," she added.

This is because its platform is "easy to use for non-tech-savvy users", and also does not charge organisers fees for listing free events. The new funding will help improve features like event discovery, said Ms Takemura.

Sharing on social media, user recommendations and the search function help the platform bump up traffic to each event page by about 10 per cent.

"We'd like to do better, especially on mobile," said Ms Takemura.

The funding will also go towards developing a more automated process of connecting sponsors with event attendees, as well as Peatix's regional expansion.

Ms Takemura declined to reveal which cities the company is looking at but said it is "focusing on Asia".

"We've covered the early adopter markets and now we'd like to start scaling," she added.

Peatix's funding round was led by DG Incubation, the investment subsidiary of Internet firm Digital Garage, and included Japanese media company Sunny Side Up, Fidelity Growth Partners Japan and Draper Nexus.

The SPH Media Fund, which totals $100 million, has a global mandate to invest in early-stage companies in the digital media and consumer Internet space.

It has previously invested in talent recruitment and matching platform Glints and a Dutch tech firm called Crowdynews that collates content from sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

"We identify with Peatix's vision to build communities around events and believe in the ability of the founders and their team to scale this platform across various markets," said SPH Media Fund chief executive Chua Boon Ping.

"At the same time, SPH also has business units in events and there are direct synergies and possible opportunities for collaboration in the future," he added.

chiaym@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on March 17, 2015.
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