U2’s Edge invests in Coras’s ‘event ticketing under one API’ in €1.9m fund raise

In the ticketing world you have and for hotels, CarTrawler for car hire and Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport for airlines. All of these have a similar business model called open distribution. But event ticketing platforms are only just beginning to realise that this is the direction in which they should head. One of the reasons secondary ticketing is so rampant (around $10bn a year worth) is that there is no dynamic pricing, and tickets usually sit with just one seller. If these tickets were available through multiple sellers the platforms would have a much better understanding of the demand for a ticket and could then price accordingly.

That’s the reasoning behind Irish startup Coras which connects tickets to customers through a global distribution platform so they can purchase tickets through any Coras-connected site.

It’s now closed a €1.9m investment round led by Atlantic Bridge with participation by Edge, the guitarists with U2, Hambro Perks and Elkstone Capital.

Coras’ pool of ticket inventory will be connected to online brands via an API integration, enabling these brands to sell tickets in addition to their core offering. It’s secured its first ticket inventory partners including Nimax Theatres and Ambassador Theatre Group, ahead of launching this year.

Their idea is to move the industry from a static distribution model (where customers are forced to go to a limited number of websites) to a responsive model that mets them on a number of sites.

Coras’ CEO Mark McLaughlin thinks “ticketing will no longer solely be the domain of traditional ticket agents, but will broaden to encompass other market leading brands.”

Most competitors have focused on one segment but Coras is trying to combine multiple genres and geographies through one API. Most of their competitors are in the tourist attraction space. Ingresso have focused on theatre and Viator was bought by TripAdvisor in 2014 or $180m-€200m.

If Coras can crack this, the market is said to be worth $89bn.

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