A student startup that has developed a blockchain-based solution to ticket fraud and touting has raised $20m in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
Aventus launched the token sale of its AventCoin (AVT) - "the Bitcoin of ticketing” - on Wednesday 6 September. They sold out within seven minutes, receiving over 60,000 ETH – the equivalent of around $20m – from investors.
Aventus, co-founded by former Imperial students Alan Vey and Annika Monari is a blockchain-based platform that aims to combat uncontrolled resale and counterfeit tickets, while improving the transparency and security of ticket sales.
Co-Founder Alan Vey explained: “One of the biggest problems plaguing the events industry is touting. Almost everyone has had the experience where they go online to buy tickets for their favourite artist, only to find that they’ve sold out in minutes.”
“At Adele’s recent tour, tickets for the Wembley Stadium locations were sold out almost immediately, leaving the majority of her fans disappointed. The tickets – which had a maximum face value of £175 - then began appearing on secondary sale sites for thousands of pounds.
“This is frustrating to fans and leads to very poor brand publicity for the event organiser.”
A blockchain is a public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions that have ever been executed. Through Aventus, each ticket would have a unique identifier on the blockchain. Due to the transparency of the blockchain, any user can check the validity of a ticket immediately, eliminating the risk of counterfeits.
Aventus want to position themselves as the "infrastructure for the whole ticketing industry", Alan explained. By ensuring that all ticket sales and resales occur through the Aventus system, it means that event organisers can reliably enforce maximum resale prices, and even receive a portion of resale revenue.
This would work in two ways. Firstly, tickets would have an identity associated with them upon purchase – whether it be customer’s name, credit card number, or photograph, which would be checked upon arrival at the event. This identity could only be changed if the ticket is resold through the approved secondary market, where there would be restrictions on resale prices.
Secondly, those selling their tickets wouldn’t know who specifically they were selling them to - rather buyers and sellers would be anonymously matched through the platform. This would prevent off-chain transactions taking place to circumvent the system.
Alan said: “we ultimately aim to power all ticket sales online. At the moment we’re focused on event tickets, but we’re looking at the possibility of expanding to transport and sport in the future”
Alan Vey, who has a Masters in Computing and Annika Monari, who achieved a Masters in Physics from Imperial, founded the company while they were students at the College.
“I originally completed a thesis in blockchain-based film rights distribution, but realised that ticket sales was a much better fit for blockchain. That’s when Aventus was born”, Alan explained.
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