Dragons’ Den success stories: TickX (and what you can learn from them)

Having turned down three deals in the Den, this ticket price comparison site has gone on to raise ten times what it was offered by the Dragons…

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Company name: TickX
Description: Listing over 80,000 events, TickX is a price comparison site for tickets to live shows
Series: 14
Year: 2017
Investment sought: £75,000
Why didn’t the Dragons invest? Three Dragons made offers, but the co-founders turned each one down

Hailed as the “Uber of events” by Peter Jones, TickX helps entertainment lovers find gigs, comedy shows, festivals, theatre events and more; putting 53 ticket sellers in one place so customers can pay the best prices out there. Users are also able to track their favourite artists, performers and venues to keep on top of what’s happening next.

Having launched in September 2015 with £175,000 seed backing from the Ministry of Sound, TickX’s co-founders Sam Coley and Steve Pearce were approached by the Den’s research team and jumped at the opportunity to pitch to the illustrious panel.

The business’ intelligent tech and lofty future goals impressed the Dragons – so much so that both Jones and Nick Jenkins made offers of £75,000 for 20% equity, while Touker Suleyman offered the same amount for 15%.

However, in a jaw-dropping move the duo turned all three Dragons down, reasoning that the offers undervalued the business.

Shocking or not, it’s safe to say that Coley and Pearce haven’t looked back. Dubbed “Dragon slayers” by the press, the duo have gone on to increase revenues by 40% month on month, attract over one million users and raise £750,000 (ten times what they were offered in the Den) in a funding round led by 24Haymarket, with support from the former chairman of BskyB and the CEO of FiveAI.

Innovation has remained at the forefront of the business’ progression, and on 1 June this year TickX launched the world’s first Facebook Messenger chatbot for live events. Spearheaded by 18-year-old student Aayush Chadha, the AI-powered bot can rapidly find results from TickX’s search engine in response to complex questions about ticket prices, tour dates and more, enabling users to buy with one click.

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