TodayTix Acquires Encore, the Leading Independent Theatre Ticket Distribution Network in Europe
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The acquisition considerably expands TodayTix’s network, cementing its role as the leading global theatre ticketing innovator.
London, UK (4 February, 2020): TodayTix, the premier digital gateway to theatre, announced today that it has acquired London-based Encore, Europe’s leading independent ticketing distribution network, for an undisclosed amount. The combination will establish a major global ticketing platform in the world’s two theatre capitals, London and New York.
This landmark acquisition will expand TodayTix’s global reach, offering the best access to theatregoers from around the world via its mobile-first, design-focused ticketing technologies. It will bring thousands of productions and venues across three continents together, through one integrated ticketing company.
Founded in New York in 2013, TodayTix quickly established itself as a disruptor within the theatrical ticketing industry, creating a place for audiences to discover shows and experiences in their city, and easily purchase the best-priced tickets. TodayTix has sold nearly six million tickets to date, now accounting for eight percent of all tickets sold both on Broadway and in the West End annually. Since beginning UK operations in 2015, it has achieved record growth, selling over one million West End tickets in the past year alone.
Encore Tickets was founded in 2000, and in the past twenty years has built up an expansive network of distribution channels that have sold well over one billion pounds-worth of tickets. Encore provides ticketing services to consumers, groups, retail and trade sectors through its own brands as well as landmark distribution and media partnerships. In addition Encore powers multiple sales outlets across London, including directly operating five in the West End.
Co-Founder and CEO Brian Fenty said of the deal, “From day one, TodayTix has been all about accessibility; we believe that when theatres are full, creators, communities and audiences thrive. The acquisition of Encore will form an unprecedented ecosystem in which producers and audiences can connect, increasing their insight and heightening the ticket-buying experience, furthering our brand promise of bringing the highest quality of service to theatre ticketing.”
Merritt Baer, Co-Founder and President added, “By acquiring Encore, TodayTix renews its commitment to the West End, while continuing to focus on innovation and ensuring that theatre is accessible for everyone. Our team is thrilled to provide thousands of new opportunities for TodayTix theatrical partners to promote and sell tickets to millions of new customers on both sides of the Atlantic – in addition to in our other regional markets.”
TodayTix previously announced in May 2019 that it had received an investment from leading growth-oriented private equity firm Great Hill Partners enabling TodayTix to enter its next stage of development. Key strategic focuses are growth and acquisition, utilising the company’s proprietary data-driven technologies, and developing further personalisation for both consumers and partners.
Joe Steele, CEO of Encore said of the deal, “To be joining forces with TodayTix as we celebrate our 20 years of operations in the West End is an exciting moment. Together we are even better placed to deliver valuable audiences for our theatre and live entertainment partners and to distribute the best of West End, Broadway and live entertainment experiences internationally. Since ECI invested in Encore in 2013 we have grown our revenues and headcount, expanded internationally, and invested to build a leading technology platform. Encore has always been a pioneer in the online ticketing market and we look forward to continuing our growth journey as part of the TodayTix family and with Great Hill Partners.”
TodayTix is the premier digital gateway to shows, arts and cultural experiences. Through its mobile-first, design-focused ticketing platform, TodayTix is the place for audiences to discover, explore and engage with the best entertainment their city has to offer.
TodayTix works with more than 1,500 partners to provide the best-priced tickets available in 15 markets around the world, including New York City, London, Toronto, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington DC, Chicago, Sydney and Melbourne. Through innovative digital Lottery and mobile Rush ticketing programs, TodayTix has generated more than 11.6M digital lottery entries and 2.3M social shares through 900 activations to date, engaging the spontaneous nature of a younger audience and introducing a new generation of audiences to the venues.
Since being launched in New York City in December 2013 by life-long friends and Broadway producers Merritt Baer and Brian Fenty, TodayTix has engaged more than five million users to connect beyond ticketing into new cultural experiences that bring human interaction back to our digital world.
In London, TodayTix has quickly grown from its launch in June 2015 to sell over one million tickets annually. In addition to selling tickets for the majority of West End titles, they also run access programmes for more than 20 productions, enabling a new generation of theatregoers to experience these shows.
Encore is an official partner of over 160 theatres and attractions and has been working closely with venues, producers and cultural institutions for over 19 years to create exclusive ticket deals, access and unique experiences for Encore customers. Encore delivers the world’s largest and most international theatre audiences with the widest range of plays and shows in the West End and Broadway, with over 6 million West End theatre and 10 million attraction tickets on sale at any one time. The Business sells both direct to consumer through its B2C brands (Encore Tickets, NewYorkTheatreGuide.com, BoxOffice.co.uk and LondonTheatre.co.uk) as well as through its 1,500 B2B online, media and travel partners including TimeOut, lastminute.com, The Telegraph and Expedia. Its global specialist theatre distribution platform is underpinned by a proprietary technology platform. The Business is headquartered in London.
About Great Hill Partners
Great Hill Partners is a Boston-based private equity firm targeting investments of $50 million to $500 million in high-growth companies across the consumer, digital infrastructure, financial technology, healthcare, and software sectors. Over the past two decades, Great Hill has raised nearly $8 billion of commitments and invested in more than 75 companies, establishing an extensive track record of building long-term partnerships with entrepreneurs and providing flexible resources to help middle-market companies scale. For more information, visit www.greathillpartners.com.
ECI Partners is the partner of choice for mid-sized growth businesses in the UK. It has an unrivalled track record in this space. Since 1990, ECI has achieved:
- Over 100 realisations achieving a gross return of 2.5x multiple and 36% IRR;
- £2.6 billion EV acquired and £4.6 billion EV realised investments, and;
- Generating a realised uplift of £2.0 billion in value for investors.
ECI is currently investing its eleventh fund which had a first and final closing at the hard cap of £700m in July 2018. Recent consumer investments include Travel Chapter, a leading online vacation rental platform, and MPM, a high-quality natural pet foods producer.
With offices in London and Manchester, ECI invests in management buyouts, buy-ins and acquisition finance deals of growth companies valued up to £200 million. We focus on technological and market disruption as well as long-term structural trends in the TMT, business & financial services and consumer sectors. ECI Partners currently manages approximately £1.7 billion on behalf of our institutional investors. Learn more at www.ecipartners.com.