CEA backs music tech platform during $525,000 seed round

CEA-backed startup Audience Republic, an online platform that helps music event organisers increase ticket sales, has announced that it has closed a $525,000 seed investment round led by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia’s (CEA) dedicated creative tech Startup Fund, along with Artesian Capital and several Australian angel investors.

Launched in October 2015 and formerly known as Ticket Squad, Audience Republic is a Sydney-based Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that helps increase ticket sales for events. Event organisers pay to use the platform to create online campaigns that drive increased ticket sales to their existing ticketing providers, such as Ticketek, Ticketmaster or Eventbrite.

More than $2 million worth of ticket sales from tens of thousands of events, festivals and conferences have been delivered by Audience Republic to organisers including; Electric Gardens, Pitch Festival, Days Like This, Rhythm & Vines and Creative3.

The funds raised from the round will go towards accelerating customer acquisition and product development, in order to bolster customers’ data and analytics capabilities.

CEO of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia, Anna Rooke, said that investor support in creative tech startups is growing as the value of the market is becoming more recognised.

“The CEA Startup Fund is dedicated to supporting Australia’s creative tech ventures, and Audience Republic outlined an impressive business model that our investors could not overlook. The market for the platform is huge, with the live events sector being worth $3 billion alone in Australia, and $100 billion globally.

“Despite this we still have long way to go in terms of producing and backing local talent in this space if we want to compete, globally. We need to do more to support our Australian creative entrepreneurs since we clearly have the consumer market to drive this. Our previous music tech investee, GiggedIn is testament to the potential in this space, currently raising a Series A round following its seed round in 2015,” Ms Rooke continued.

The seed round announcement comes as the company rebrands its platform, relaunching under the new name Audience Republic. The new name takes into consideration the evolution of the platform and expanded vision beyond just events, says CEO and co-founder Jared Kristensen.

“We’re seeing some fascinating ways customers have been using the platform beyond events in a way that we hadn’t originally expected, including by some major consumer brands who have used us for campaigns. We’re really excited to be exploring this further,” he says.

The CEA Startup Fund – established by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia in 2013 – is the first and only dedicated investment fund specialising in accelerating the growth of creative tech companies. The fund, which offers between $25,000 for pre-seed stage and $150,000 for early-stage businesses, is available for commercial investment in high-growth, scalable businesses in Australia.

About QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA)

CEA helps start, grow, scale and connect creative companies. Providing essential business skills and mentoring focused on company growth and investment, CEA accelerates companies with a focus on design, fashion, entertainment, photography, music, film and television, digital technology, games and interactive content.

Since 2008, CEA has established more than 50 startups, engaged with 4,000 entrepreneurs, supported over 500 creative industries businesses on site and raised over $60m in capital. CEA offers access to workspace, business mentoring, special events, networks, research expertise and capital to foster the growth of the creative industries in Australia.

About Audience Republic

Launched in October 2015, Audience Republic (formerly Ticket Squad) helps event organisers increase ticket sales. Organisers use the online platform to setup campaigns, which drive increased ticket sales to their ticketing provider (such as Ticketmaster, Ticketek or Eventbrite). The campaigns leverage social media and rewards – such as access to exclusive tickets, discounts and prizes – to incentivise people to invite their friends to purchase tickets.

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