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FoundedLondon, UK (2006)
DefunctNovember 27, 2018; 8 months ago (2018-11-27)
HeadquartersLondon, UK
Key people
Joe Cohen, Founder
Productsonline secondary ticketing, online ticket marketplace

Until 27 November 2018 Seatwave was an online ticket marketplace for buying and selling tickets to music, sporting and cultural events. Ticket sellers were able to list their tickets on Seatwave and specified what price they would be willing to sell them for. Buyers could browse the site, compare ticket prices and could then purchase the ticket they feel was the best deal. Seatwave’s TicketIntegrity guarantee ensured buyers got the tickets they ordered by the day of the event. If they did not, Seatwave would find replacement tickets, or refund the buyer.

On 13 August 2018, Seatwave Parent Company Ticketmaster Ltd announced its intention to close Seatwave in October 2018, and move secondary ticketing services to its main website, in a bid to combat exploitation of the service by ticket touts. [2] [3]

On 27 November 2018, Seatwave was closed, no longer accepting new ticket listings or purchases.

Founder and investors[edit]

Seatwave was founded by Joe Cohen, formerly of and Ticketmaster, in May 2006 and began online trading in February 2007. Seatwave secured $25 million in February 2008 in a Series C funding round led by Fidelity Ventures and including existing investors Atlas Venture, Mangrove Capital Partners and AdInvest. On 1 June 2009, Seatwave announced it had raised $17 million in fourth round Series D of funding, taking the company’s funding total to $53 million / €38 million.[4][5]

Seatwave was featured on Media Momentum's "Ones to Watch" list in 2008 and in 2009, won their "Fastest Growing Company Award & Best Management" Award. Seatwave was awarded Online Business of the Year award in the Fast Growth Business Media Awards 2009 and was awarded first place in the inaugural Tech Media Invest 100 in 2009, in association with The Guardian, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kemp Little and Europe Unlimited.[6]

New CEO[edit]

In January 2013 Joe Cohen stepped down as CEO of Seatwave to become the company’s Non-Executive Chairman. Ajay Chowdhury was appointed CEO of Seatwave in September 2013.

Ajay has expertise in the mobile, web, digital media and digital retail industries. He was most recently CEO and then executive chairman of global cloud-based retail technology company ComQi and the former chairman of Shazam Entertainment, the world’s leading media engagement company.

Ajay is also one of the founding general partners of European venture capital fund IDG Ventures Europe, Deputy Chairman of the British Screen Advisory Council and a non-executive director on the board of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport advising on media and technology issues

Board appointments[edit]

Marty Pompadour joined the company as a non-executive director in 2008 but resigned on 23 June 2010.Seatwave's annual report, 31 December 2009, P4

Board members also include Fred Destin, a blogger who often writes about Seatwave.[7] Destin was a partner at Atlas Venture’s London office when the firm made its initial investment in Seatwave back in 2006.[citation needed] In 2010, Atlas Ventures closed its London office and Destin relocated to Boston.[8]

To prevent football hooliganism, the resale of football tickets in the UK was made illegal within the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.[9] Resale of football tickets is only legal when expressly permitted by the individual club.[9] As of 2011, Seatwave is the approved secondary ticket partner of Fulham FC.[10]

Seatwave has partnered with Grand Union Management who manage artists including The Enemy and Reverend and the Makers.[11]

Testimony at 2007 Parliamentary enquiry[edit]

In 2007, the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport appointed a Select Committee to investigate ticket touting and outline recommendations on legislative measures. On 10 January 2008, the Select Committee published a report which summarised their findings.[12] They identified 12 key benefits and 14 key detriments for consumers.[13] Seatwave testified at the inquiry where Joe Cohen presented his view on touting.

In April 2008, the government responded to the Select Committee’s reports supporting the findings that legislation should be a last resort, identifying a need for the primary ticketing market to be improved and urging all players in the industry to work together to develop a voluntary code of principles.[14] Seatwave has declined to join any trade association connected with secondary ticketing in Europe, citing fundamental differences.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Ticketmaster acquires Seatwave operating assets". MusicWeek. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Ticketmaster to close resale sites Seatwave and Get Me In". 2018-08-13.
  3. ^ "Well done Ticketmaster for closing resale sites – but it ain't over yet". 2018-08-17.
  4. ^ Growing Business Success Stories - Seatwave: Joe Cohen Archived 2010-12-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Seatwave Secures $25 Million in Series C Funding, Reuters, 11 February 2008
  6. ^ "MIC: Tech Media Invest 100 (Microsite),MIC: Tech Media Invest 100 2009 (Microsite)". The Guardian. London. 7 September 2009.
  7. ^ Fred Destin's blog Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Palmer, Maija. "Atlas Ventures pulls back from London".
  9. ^ a b Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
  10. ^ "Seatwave". Fulham FC. Archived from the original on 2011-09-19.
  11. ^ Landmark Seatwave deal promises better access to tickets, Ticket News, 18 July 2008 Archived 1 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Committee report on ticket touting, 18 December 2007 Archived 27 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Culture, Media and Sport - Second Report, House of Commons
  14. ^ Government Response to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Report on Ticket Touting (HC 202 – Second Report of Session 2007-08)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]