Dubbed the 'Uber of events', TickX pulls over 70,000 events from over 30 ticket sellers. The app compares gig, theatre, sports, club night, comedy and festival ticket prices on one site and smartphone app.

"If someone's thinking of a ticket seller we want them to think TickX. We want to be the one-stop shop for event goers," TickX cofounder Steve Pearce tells Techworld.

TickX founders Steve Pearce and Sam Coley ©TickX

In the last 12 months operations have gone from strength to strength for founders Sam Coley and Steve Pearce, with TickX.co.uk reaching 100,000 monthly active users and its revenues growing 40 percent month on month. Not to mention appearing on BBC's Dragon's Den.

After interviewing cofounder Steve Pearce this time last year, Techworld caught up with Pearce again to discuss what's happened over the last 12 months.

See also: Meet TickX: the ticket comparison startup using Skyscanner's winning formula.

"We've worked hard and have grown the team. We've brought Tim Chambers, one of the world's most connected guys in terms of ticketing on to our board as a non-executive director," explains Pearce.

"Then we just focused on really growing the traffic to our website, going from zero to 100,000 monthly active users. It was this growth and our progress to date that enabled us to attract a much larger £750,000 investment," adds Pearce. 

Both Coley and Pearce appeared on Dragon's Den at the start of 2017, when TickX was hailed "the Uber of events" by multi-millionaire Peter Jones. The startup received three offers of investment: a joint offer of £75,000 from Peter Jones and Nick Jenkins for 20 percent equity, and one from Touker Suleyman for 15 percent equity.

But to the surprise of the Dragons, the pair rejected all offers.

"We actually filmed Dragon's Den in May [2016] and when we said no to the Dragons we were looking for investment that that point. And then we managed to finalise that round of investment in November [2016]," says Pearce.

"We were pleased with the results. It was just a huge stamp of validation that they were interested in TickX. We just felt that the offers undervalued the business, where we are up to and our progress to date. So we thought we'd roll the dice," says Pearce.

"We are confident we have made the right decision", he adds.

Since its filming, TickX has secured £750,000 in funding from investment firm 24Haymarket, former Chairman of BskyB Nick Ferguson and Stan Boland and other top-level investors, adding to its £175,000 backing from music giants Ministry of Sound secured last year.

This funding adds up to 10 times more than the £75,000 offered by the Dragons.

"Upon closing that round we are now a team of seven and we will be going to 12 in the next three to four months," says Pearce.

"We are in a period of rapid growth now which is nice to have because when we first finalised the round we were just dipping our feet in the water and getting used to growing the users and getting used to the tech. But now we're seeing rapid growth every month," he adds.

Image: TickX co-founders Steve Pearce and Sam Coley

Challenges

For any startup in any sector, the first couple of years are definitely the hardest. Getting to grips with aspects of business law, staffing issues and technical matters are among the top issues startups will face in the early stages.

"One of the challenges we've faced is the shortage of developers in the UK and finding talent, particularly on the tech side," explains Pearce.

"Another challenge is that we are working round the clock, you never stop thinking about it. So finding some sort of work-life balance is important. There really isn't any separation which is both a positive and a negative.

"Finally raising capital is very tough. We've brought some incredible investors onboard but it's not been a smooth journey. My advice for anyone that's trying to raise funding is to try and get the growth there first and try and get excitement to the platform to get a lot of people interested in what you're doing because people like backing companies that other people want to back," says Pearce.

The future of TickX: Chatbots

Last year seemed to be the year of the chatbot, or at least the year companies started making chatbots part of their business strategy.

And TickX is no different.

"We're going to be launching a ticketing bot. You'll be able to send a message to Facebook Messenger and it will show you all the events around you," says Pearce.

"It's the new hot topic. You can get from A to B a lot quicker. And we want to have it so you can say, 'find me four of the cheapest upper circle tickets to see the Lion King' and it can say 'how about these?' and send you the correct ones.

"I think it's going to be the first of its kind globally really as we've got his special source of inventory that no one else has so it should be quite an exciting project," highlighted Pearce.

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