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5 Tech IPOs to Watch for in 2013


If you haven't used Eventbrite yet then you need to get out more. Eventbrite is a San Francisco-based company that provides of online event management and ticketing services. The service was used by many companies at SXSW in Austin last month as they invited guests to parties or events. People can use the site to RSVP to free events and even purchase and print tickets for events that have a price attached. At GigaOm's Structure Data 2013, Vipal Sharma, director of data engineering said the company had crossed $1 billion in ticket sales by June of 2012. Eighty million tickets have been sold for events in 179 countries.

The company likes to say it puts the "power of the box office in your hands" to its customers. It's a reasonable charge of 2.5% per ticket price plus 99 cents per ticket sold. The company can also earn money through additional credit card processing of will-call and same-day tickets. No charge for the free stuff.

So why go public? Scale. Sharma also noted at the GigaOm event that doing real-time data processing at scale is a really hard problem. Customers want analytics about their events and scaling for growth is the company's biggest challenge. Eventbrite can tell its customers who's attending, when they arrive and if they are sharing this information on social media.

Why 2013? The company was launched in 2006 and has a strong roster of tech investors including Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management and Kevin Hartz, who is also the CEO. Last year, the company added Dave Morin to the board. Morin brought with him Facebook experience and Facebook is the number one driver of traffic. Eventbrite is also one of Facebook's open graph launch partners.

In order to fund the scalability of growth the company could use additional money. Its last investment was in 2011 and that was only $50 million. Eventbrite needs to own this space now before Facebook tries to steal it and it will need big money to pay for that growth.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia and Debra Borchardt in New York

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