NFT ticketing company Get Protocol has raised $4.5 million, launching its “Web 2.5” alternative to traditional industry giant Ticketmaster.
More than 4 million blockchain-based tickets have been issued using Get Protocol’s tech so far, the company claims, including stubs for artists such as Ne-Yo, Gucci Mane, Lewis Capaldi, and comedian Louis C.K. The company says it has a number of other splashy announcements in the pipeline.
Despite the big names, Get Protocol has been operating relatively under the radar thus far.
“It took seven years to know that everything works in order to scale up. We think it’s time to try to grab crypto attention,” Get Protocol CEO Maarten Bloemers told Decrypt. “Taking the long road pays off,” he added. “It doesn’t have to be ‘moon and lambos’ all the time.”
The seed round was led by Flow Ventures and included backing from Web3 heavyweights Animoca Brands, the Tezos Foundation, Redbeard Ventures, and Funfair Ventures. The Sandbox founder Sebastien Borget and a number of other undisclosed individuals and funds also contributed. Maximizing Profits Will ‘Kill’ Web3: Animoca Brands Chairman
Bloemers described the fundraising environment as “absolute hell,” having put the wheels in motion soon after the collapse of disgraced crypto exchange FTX in November last year.
Even with that and mass regulatory uncertainty alongside, he said that most of the rejections along the way boiled down to another issue: the power of incumbent industry giant Ticketmaster, which Get Protocol is looking to challenge.
Ticketing is a historically gatekept industry, with the power currently held in relatively few hands. And with a projected $77 billion in total revenue for 2023, it’s big business too.
Get Protocol takes aim at Ticketmaster
NFTs have consistently been touted as a potential solution to problems that come with Web2 tech, such as glitchy online queuing for popular events, scalping, or poor data collection on attendees during and post-event.
Alongside Get Protocol, other startups like YellowHeart, Tokenproof, and even a division of Sports Illustrated magazine have been trying to muscle in on ticketing territory with an NFT twist.
These businesses have survived while plenty of others based on blockchain tech have now fallen by the wayside. ‘Another World’ Will Let You Bring Your NFT Avatars Into a 3D Metaverse
“We counted that 160 projects came and went in NFT ticketing—we were the first and are still standing,” claimed Bloemers, adding that he believes the staying power of Get Protocol, since its launch in 2016 and initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017, has been down to its “Web 2.5” approach.
“Other projects’ issue was a Web3-first admission strategy. We ticket mainstream events—with crypto under the hood,” he said. “If you want to do big stadium concerts, there’s no way you can have a solely Web3 approach right now.”
Companies trying a pure-play Web3 approach have “jumped the gun,” Bloemers added, with that level of innovation potentially being five to 10 years away as a mainstream play. He added that Get sees NFTs as “programmable collateral” used to extend the life cycle of a ticket.
The raise also comes with a new agreement between Get and the Tezos Foundation, through which Get will bring NFT ticketing to Tezos’ partners. This will be made possible through full integration of Get Protocol’s NFT ticketing facilities on Tezos’ upcoming EVM network upgrade.
Tezos will also be the company’s default blockchain, although customers can choose to go with other options if they want.
Rather than raising money for the sake of it, or because the company needed more cash, Bloemers said that Get was looking for “a crypto big brother in the space.”
“We think we found that with Tezos and Animoca,” he added. decrypt.co