t. rowe price

Exclusive: Eventbrite joins $1 billion club

March 13, 2014: 6:46 AM ET

Popular event ticketing company raises around $60 million in new round of funding at a big valuation.

at-the-door-mobile-box-officeFORTUNE -- Event ticketing platform Eventbrite has quietly raised around $60 million in new venture capital funding at a valuation of more than $1 billion, Fortune has learned.

The deal is a bit of a surprise, as San Francisco-based Eventbrite had been widely considered to be a 2014 IPO candidate. Not only because of its market traction -- the company processed $1 billion in gross ticket sales last year -- but also because 11 months ago it raised $60 million from crossover investors Tiger Global Management and T. Rowe Price. Not to mention the hiring of former Shutterfly (SFLY) chief financial officer Mark Rubash as its own CFO. What ultimately seems to have happened, however, was that Tiger and T. Rowe wanted more ownership, and offered the sort of package that Eventbrite couldn't refuse.

MORE: 3 lessons behinds a startup's $1 billion valuation

"Eventbrite is a fast-growing company focused on building the largest marketplace for events in the world," said the company, in a statement to Fortune confirming the investment (albeit not the dollar amounts). "We are fortunate to have such supportive and engaged investors, and after working together and getting more insight into our business and traction, Tiger Global and T. Rowe Price proactively approached us about increasing their investment. As a responsible, global startup in hypergrowth, we recognize the importance of having an appropriate level of invested capital to execute our growth strategy and control our destiny. For these reasons, we chose to accept the the funding."

The valuation also didn't hurt, since it represented a significant step-up from the prior round. A source familiar with the situation says that all of the new money is primary capital (i.e., no liquidity for employees or early shareholders), in part because the company had offered secondary opportunities as part of a previous funding round. There also was no participation by other existing VC investors -- such as DAG Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Tenaya Capital -- so as to better accommodate Tiger and T. Rowe's appetite.

"They probably would have invested more if they could have," the source said.

Expect the proceeds to be used for two broad strategic goals:

  1. 1. Continued geographic expansion. Eventbrite now operates globally, and last September purchased smaller rivals based in London and Argentina. The company thinks it can double or triple its business in Western Europe, plus keep making big strides in both Latin America and Asia. Both organically and, possibly, via additional acquisitions.
  2. 2. Product development. Earlier this month, Eventbrite launched a self-service reserved seating solution. It also continues to create new products for event organizers, plus position itself as a consumer-facing marketplace for event discovery.

So keep Eventbrite on the IPO watch-list. But for 2015, not 2014.

Note: An earlier version of this story reported that the company had raised $50 million, rather than the correct $60 million. Since its founding, Eventbrite has now raised $200 million.

Sign up for Dan Primack's daily email newsletter on deals and deal-makers: GetTermSheet.com

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