New Startup Takes Aim at Ticketmaster

Bruin Ventures
3 min readMar 5, 2023
Image from CNBC

Patton Janssen (’24) | Mar 3, 2023

Announced on March 1st, Alex Rodriguez, a baseball legend, and his business partner Marc Lore, CEO of Wonder Group and owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, have raised $20 million in Series A funding for their latest startup called Jump which has emerged from being stealth. Jump will be a new ticketing platform for sports and other entertainment events and will add new features to offer a better experience for fans, compared to other ticketing platforms such as Ticketmaster, Stubhub, and Vivid Seats. But the actual product from Jump is still “quarters” away from hitting the market, according to CEO Jordy Leiser.

One of the biggest goals of Jump will be to improve upon the economics of ticketing by offering dynamic solutions for pricing that will extend to in-game pricing. Not only will ticket prices be changing in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to an event, but also during the event itself so that fans can purchase better seats mid-game if they want to get a better or different view. This is a great opportunity to capitalize on fans looking to get a seat closer to the playing field or stage mid-event while making it a seamless experience.

This concept is not entirely new to the market. In 2013, Evan Owens launched Pogoseat, an app that also offers fans options to purchase closer seats mid-event. Pogoseat claims that “up to 50% of seats are unsold” and that their in-app seat upgrades can turn unused seats into up to 60% more revenue.” Pogoseat is a product that is easily integrated into the ticketing systems of different venues and teams and can be connected to several different ticketing platforms such as SeatGeek and Ticketmaster. Some of Pogoseat’s current clients include the MLB, Cirque Du Soleil, and a handful of other sports teams. Owens left the company in 2016 shortly after launching it to pursue ventures in crypto and through their Series D funding round, Pogoseat has raised only $4.3 million to date.

Not only does Jump face competition from Pogoseats, but also from the masses of “seat pirates” that buy cheap tickets to get into an event then scout out and move to closer seats at events, undercutting the value of higher-price tickets. The success of Jump and other startups such as Pogoseats largely hinge on elevated security efforts at stadiums to effectively manage crowds and keep people from getting to better seats that they didn’t pay for.

We will be watching closely as Jump works closer to shipping out a product that will differentiate itself from existing services and the all-to-common “seat pirate.” The slow growth of Pogoseats over the past 10 years certainly does not paint a promising picture for Jump, but with the deep industry knowledge of the executive team that Jump has assembled, there is hope for an in-game seat-swapping platform that can outdo its predecessors.

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