Black Duo Bags $5M To Take On The Likes Of Ticketmaster With POSH
Two Black 22-year-old founders have raised $5 million to democratize event planning with POSH, the event management and ticketing platform that aims to take on the likes of Dice, Ticketmaster, and Eventbrite.
Democratizing event planning
POSH announced its public launch last week after being in beta since October 2020. Now, the platform has raised $5 million in a seed funding round co-led by Companyon Ventures and EPIC Ventures, with participation from Day One Ventures, Pareto Holdings, DoNotPay founder Joshua Browder and others.
The brainchild of Avante Price and Eli Taylor-Lemire, POSH allows users to manage the entire lifecycle of their event regardless of its size or their level of experience.
In return for a share of ticket sales, users can take advantage of the platform’s features such as white-labeled event pages, ticketing and RSVP tools, marketing tools, instant payouts, dispute resolution, and community management.
Users can also customize their marketplace to fit their brand, and unlike competitors, POSH’s branding doesn’t take over users’ event pages, allowing smaller brands to establish their presence.
“You can monetize your social influence.”
Its unique attendee-to-affiliate conversion “Kickback” tool allows guests to invite their friends to events and receive a commission on ticket sales,
“If you’re a micro-influencer… you get that soft introduction to bringing people to an event. And then you can use our tools to actually start your own event brand. That’s kind of the goal with this tool,” Taylor-Lemire told TechCrunch.
“Attendees usually don’t just go from going to a bunch of events to throwing a massive party. There’s some intermediary steps like you become a promoter, or you work as a photo/video person for a company or a DJ — you can monetize your social influence.”
POSH also has an array of third-party app integrations, including Stripe, Mailchimp, and Twilio and an API that lets organizers list POSH events on third-party marketplaces like EDM Train. There’s also a webhook feature that gives users real-time updates about transactions.
Frustration To Innovation
Price and Taylor-Lemire have a deep understanding of the challenges that event industry professionals face.
Price began his entrepreneurial journey at age 15 with ChoreBug, a service similar to TaskRabbit, and he has been DJing for over 15 years. Taylor-Lemire owns a freelance photo-video agency that produces content for major fashion magazines as well as Sony and ROC Nation artists. He also created Music Video Express, a service that lets people book videographers in their area.
The pair launched POSH in 2019 as an events company for college students and young professionals after becoming fed up with working as freelancers in NYC nightclubs.
“People were paying us late and giving us false promises and all these other things,” Price told TechCrunch. “The biggest thing was a lot of these brands were run by older people who didn’t really understand what the college kids wanted, whether it’s the vibe, etc.”
College dropouts to Tech founders
The pair’s decisions to drop out of college and focus on the company helped it evolve into the management and ticketing platform it is today.
“We initially built POSH as an in-house tool that solved our primary needs for white-labeled event pages and more insight into customer data,” Taylor-Lemire told Afrotech.
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“Utilizing our own in-house tool for 2 events, we scaled from 200 attendees to 500 attendees per event — right before the pandemic. Given the state of the events space, we took the time to further understand the space and build out what’s now the Shopify for Events. We knew we were onto something and dropped out of NYU in 2020 to build POSH.”
POSH reports it has over half a million users and $30 million in processed tickets. The company also reports that it has increased its number of live events by 50% and was used across six continents in the first quarter of 2023.
The seed funding will go toward expanding its team, working on new features and updating its mobile app.