Ticketing software outfit Red61 nets cash injection

Red61, the Edinburgh-based ticketing software specialist, has secured £572,000 in funding from venture capital firm Par Equity.

Red61 chief executive Tony Davey
Red61 chief executive Tony Davey

The business, which runs ticketing operations for major events including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, recently announced record revenue of £1 million and is now targeting new clients across the UK and overseas.

Chief executive Tony Davey said: “We were absolutely delighted to secure the funding from Par Equity as not only will it allow us to accelerate our growth plans in the UK and abroad, but it is also reassuring to know that the experts agree with us and believe our growth plans are realistic and achievable.

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“Until now our success has been without any proactive sales effort with most of our growth coming from client referrals and word of mouth due to the excellent reputation we’ve built across the industry. This investment will allow us to accelerate this growth by adding a more direct route to market.”

Davey added: “We’re strengthening the company and adding staff across all departments in preparation for significant growth over the next few years. We already have an incredibly powerful product, perfect for high volume, high profile live events and we have some exciting plans for e-ticketing and the disruption of the traditional ‘box office’ service.”

Red61 was founded in 2002 to build the Via ticketing system, which is the brainchild of Davey and his business partner, software developer Peter McNaught. The pair were joined by systems architect Will Tatam in 2006.

Via processed two million tickets for this year’s Fringe and the firm now employs 85 seasonal staff to run the ticketing operation for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

Marcus Henderson, investment manager at Par Equity, said: “We’re always very keen to help promote technology businesses that improve the sector they work in and that is definitely the case with Red61.

“Tony, Peter and Will’s background in the event and ticketing industry has allowed them to develop a system that gives festivals, venues and other live event owners the ability to sell more tickets more easily. Via enables clients to easily create multiple sales and media channels, and therefore makes it easier for people to find information and make a purchase. We know from our detailed market research that there is a huge domestic and global market for this.”

Henderson added: “As well as offering the investment we will offer a pragmatic hands on approach to help Red61 succeed as our advisory panel consists of experienced entrepreneurs, investors and business people who can add real value to the companies we invest in.

“Richard Lewis has joined the board of Red61 as a Par investor director, bringing with him over 25 years of experience in the technology sector, specifically significant success at board level in aggressively growing businesses both domestically and internationally.“