Alex Rodriguez, a former MLB star, and Marc Lore, an entrepreneur, have raised $20 million to launch a new ticketing and fan experience company that they hope will outperform the industry’s struggling incumbents.
Forerunner Ventures, Courtside Ventures, Will Ventures, and Mastry Ventures all participated in the stealthy company’s latest funding round. Early funding came from the founders themselves, such as Rodriguez and Lore. Since then, other investors have joined in, such as MetaLab and Drive by DraftKings. The total amount of money raised is $30 million.
Management has held discussions with team owners and executives to learn how to enhance the current situation and attract new customers. Earlier this month, executives from Live Nation Entertainment Inc. testified before lawmakers in Washington, D.C., about the company’s botched sale of Taylor Swift tickets in November. Following their 2010 merger, Live Nation and Ticketmaster now operate as Live Nation Entertainment.
Attempting to purchase the New York Mets in 2020, Rodriguez and Lore gained insight into the inner workings of a major league sports franchise, prompting them to begin thinking about the industry at large. They reasoned that there was an opportunity to boost the economy as a whole by creating a service that catered to spectators before, during, and after a sporting event.
“As Alex and I began exploring ownership opportunities with sports teams, we spoke to industry executives and began seeing first-hand how many teams were missing the mark when it came to the fan experience,” Lore said in an email. Almost immediately, we saw how much room for improvement there was in the way fans were taken care of.
Jump plans to provide a variety of services in the areas of ticketing, e-commerce, content, and event experiences, such as “dynamic ticketing,” which would allow paying customers to switch to a better available seat in the venue at any time during the event.
According to an interview with CEO and co-founder Jordy Leiser, the company wants to work with the existing ticket sellers and open up the industry by having fewer exclusive deals. He wishes for live events to be more experiential and less commercial.
Leiser has stated that the funds will be used for recruitment while the product is being developed. Jump is still in its early stages of development and is looking to hire engineers, product managers, and data scientists. Despite the fact that the launch of the product is still “quarters away,” he assured investors that Jump is not actively seeking additional funding but will do so if and when necessary.
Rodriguez and Lore have backed numerous ventures with their money over the past few years, including a $1.5 billion deal for a share of the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association. They also have stakes in the online broker Tornado and the sports stock exchange Mojo.