“Experience Budget-Friendly Tickets and a Thriving Social Community with EQ Tickets”

Those shared interests combined with Ryan’s understanding of the market — and the margins necessary to be successful — led to the founding of EQ Tickets. Initially, EQ Tickets focused on developing a secondary ticket marketplace, similar to something like StubHub, Vivid Seats, or SeatGeek. The final tie-in is EQ Tickets’ primary ticketing marketplace, which helps turn the site into a one-stop shop for big events. The primary ticketing platform hadn’t yet been announced as EQ Tickets was working directly with select clients to test the service. EQ Tickets is currently available via the web and mobile web but plans to launch a native mobile app later this year.

A groundbreaking startup, EQ Tickets, is venturing out of secrecy with the intent to revolutionize the online ticket purchasing experience by integrating a social network aspect. This innovative approach aims to make discovering live events and shows a more communal endeavor. What sets EQ Tickets apart is their promise of competitive prices, making them a formidable competitor to other secondary ticket marketplaces. The company is also planning to expand their primary ticket marketplace, competing with the likes of popular platforms like Eventbrite, to generate lucrative revenue in the process.

Co-founded by brothers Aaron and Ryan Caradonna, along with hip-hop artist Matt Raposo (Rapta), the idea for EQ Tickets stemmed from Aaron’s personal interest in sports and entertainment. He recalls his childhood days spent trying to get players’ autographs before games. Although Aaron initially pursued a law career instead of becoming a sports agent as planned, he gained extensive experience working with venues. Meanwhile, his brother Ryan became involved in the ticketing industry after a brief stint at JP Morgan. With their shared interests and Ryan’s expertise in the market, they joined forces to establish EQ Tickets.

Another integral member of the team is their friend from the music industry, Raposo. As a performer himself, he brings a unique perspective on the business that complements the brothers’ knowledge of the market.

In their initial stages, EQ Tickets focused on creating a secondary ticket marketplace similar to existing platforms like StubHub, Vivid Seats, and SeatGeek. Aaron explains, “We followed the same strategies as our competitors and offered fair and transparent ticket prices with a slight markup.” Their selling point being that tickets on EQ Tickets can be up to 20-30% cheaper than other sites.

But they didn’t stop there. The EQ Tickets team wanted to add a social layer to their platform to enhance the user experience. They introduced features that allow users to bookmark events and follow other users. This added a whole new dimension by connecting fans of the same teams, events, or musical artists. For example, if you’re in town and want to attend a local hockey game, you can use EQ Tickets to find someone to go with. Additionally, the bookmarking feature enables users to express their interest in upcoming events, allowing others to reach out and connect with them.

The final piece of their master plan is their primary ticketing marketplace that aims to make EQ Tickets a one-stop-shop for major events. In addition to purchasing tickets for the main event, users can also buy tickets for fan tailgating events or afterparties.

The ticketing marketplace launched in August and initially charged no additional fees. However, they have since implemented a minimal markup and are now rolling out their primary ticketing platform.

Despite operating in secrecy, EQ Tickets has already grossed six figures in ticket sales, and their early adopters are actively using the social features to enhance their experience. Aaron himself has used the platform to attend shows, including the U2 concert at the Las Vegas Sphere. While he didn’t connect with strangers using EQ Tickets, he did use it to meet up with friends in different cities. In the future, they plan to introduce a friend suggestion algorithm that will help users form connections. For now, users can manually search for other users or invite them to the platform.

Aaron points out, “Sports and entertainment have diehard fans, and this is an opportunity for them to find and connect with like-minded individuals. They might be in separate chat rooms right now and not even know the other exists.”

The primary ticketing platform was only available through select clients as they were testing the service. However, in one night last week, EQ Tickets generated a staggering $30,000 in ticket sales for a single event, which prompted the founders to publicly announce the service. EQ Tickets will now be the primary ticketing platform for various side events during SXSW, concert tours, and movie premieres. Clients can choose between two revenue-sharing models, 6.6% plus $1.79 per ticket or 10% plus $0.99 per ticket, which are consistent with other competitors’ rates.

The company assures its clients that they will have access to their customer data and other relevant information, such as fans’ phone numbers (if shared) and answers to questions regarding the event.

With a 30% repeat buyer rate, EQ Tickets is gaining traction with early adopters and rapidly growing its user base.

EQ Tickets is currently available on the web and mobile web, with plans to launch a native mobile app later this year. The small but dedicated team of 10 (including consultants) is located in L.A. but has developers and engineers in Denver and Boston. Aaron, who resides in Huntsville, Alabama, leads the team.

The startup secured $2 million in seed funding from Sage Venture Partners, led by early Apple investor Fred Warren, in a round that closed last June. With EQ Tickets, discovering and attending live events or shows has been transformed into a social and immersive experience with a platform that offers unbeatable ticket prices.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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