We have been following Eventbrite since they are a similar company serving events and having a similar business model of charging for their services only with processing fees since they went public. We are also beginning to overlap with them more as nonprofits discover the GiveSignup Ticket Platform that is purpose built for nonprofits. We reported on the Eventbrite 2020 Annual Report, as well as past public Eventbrite reports.
This latest quarter still showed significant slowdown from the pandemic, especially compared to the relative recovery GiveSignup | RunSignup has seen. We have created a new way to track total tickets per quarter using 2018 as a base year. Eventbrite was down in Q1 by 58% from 2018, while GiveSignup | RunSignup ticket volume is actually up 7%.
The good news that Julia Hartz, the CEO of Eventbrite, shared in the earnings call was that Australia and New Zealand ticket volume in March was 20% over the March of 2019. This shows the pent up demand that we are all feeling to gather together again. Lanny Baker, their CFO, also shared that April ticket volume was 5% higher than March, even though normally April is below March. These statements are positive signs for the live event community as a whole.
Eventbrite has leveraged their ToneDen acquisition to introduce a new subscription plan to help with marketing events:
It will be interesting to see the adoption of this new subscription service. GiveSignup | RunSignup has a different strategy where we provide most of these tools like free email and tracking with Google and Facebook as well as far more advanced website capabilities with custom domains for free without a subscription and our integrated Insights Tracking that gets around the new Facebook/Apple conversion tracking limitations.
The feature that Eventbrite and ToneDen has really created here is on the automated ad placements and spending.
They did pay off the loan they took last May from Francisco Partners. That will drop their quarterly interest expense from $10M to $5.7M. They have also ramped their R&D spending back up to near pre-pandemic levels of about $16M per quarter. Their Sales and Marketing and G&A costs are down considerably as they shift back to being more of a product led company.
The company is not making future forecasts directly, but analysts are estimating for Net Revenue not to return to pre pandemic levels until 2022 ($312M in 2022 compared with $326M in 2019). They estimate that growth will return in 2023 with about 20% growth to $371M, with a net loss, but positive adjusted EBITDA. As a comparable, GiveSignup | RunSignup will actually be above our 2019 Net Revenue and transaction volumes this year in 2021.
As Julia said in her Earnings Call:
“As the recovery builds, we are looking even further ahead toward what I believe is a very bright future for a business that we purposely reshaped and strengthened during the pandemic.”Q1 2021 Eventbrite Earnings Call
We all hope for a rapid return of live events!