Philadelphia tech startup SocialLadder is moving up another rung, announcing Monday the company, which connects live event promoters with more than 150,000 brand ambassadors to drive ticket sales, landed a major deal with a division of Live Nation’s Ticketmaster.
CEO and Co-Founder Raavi Iqbal said it has partnered with the entertainment conglomerate’s event ticketing site Universe to integrate its SocialLadder ambassador platform into the process of setting up an event.
Now, when an organizer creates an event on Universe and wants to promote it, it has two buttons to click — Facebook or SocialLadder.
“That’s a big win,” Iqbal said.
The partnership comes a little over a year since SocialLadder landed a similar deal with EventBrite, the leading do-it-yourself ticketing platform in the U.S.
Since then, Iqbal said the SocialLadder’s gotten “a lot of great new business from [the EventBrite partnership,]” he said. “Events of all sizes have been using us through the integration and continue to use us now. Hopefully we’ll see the same thing from Universe.”
SocialLadder earns its revenue from a 10 percent commission it charges based on each ticket sold through one of its ambassadors. In exchange for leveraging their networks, ambassadors are enticed to promote events with incentives like backstage passes.
The platform can integrate with any e-commerce or ticketing platform, but the deals it landed with EventBrite and Universe, where it’s represented right on the site in front of event organizers, is the highest level of integration it offers.
Iqbal said the company is aiming to repeat the same kind of partnership with other major ticketing platforms, a space that’s far more fragmented than people realize, as well as expand beyond live events.
It has the cash to do so, having closed a $1.5 million last funding round in February after beinning to raise funds at the end of 2017. It set a record at the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies’ (PACT) Lions Den — the pitch competition at its annual capital conference — by raising $800,000 there last year, and it went on to raise further funds from previous investors including former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta. Delaware Crossing Investor Group also joined in the round. To date, SocialLadder’s raised $2.5 million.
Its funding will also be a help as SocialLadder seeks out a new headquarters. It’s currently operating out of the University City Science Center and Drexel University’s ic@3401 coworking space but having grown to a team of nearly 20 people, Iqbal said the startup is in the midst of looking for its own dedicated office space in the city, hoping to fill about 2,500 square feet.
Article originally written by Michelle Caffrey for Philadelphia Business Journal.
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