Black College Dropouts Raise $5M to Rival Ticketmaster With New Platform

 

Meet Avante Price and Eli Taylor-Lemire, two young Black businesspeople who left NYU to create POSH, an online platform for event management and ticketing that will compete with industry heavyweights like Ticketmaster and Eventbrite. In a recent seed round, the startup raised $5 million to grow its business.

22-year-old cofounders Price and Taylor-Lemire founded POSH as an events business in 2019 after becoming dissatisfied with their own experiences working part-time in NYC nightclubs. Before realizing they could throw larger events, the two started out by hosting smaller gatherings for college students and young professionals.

They made the decision to leave NYU because they thought they could change the event management sector. Price is a DJ, and Taylor-Lemire owns a free-lance photo-video production company that works with Sony and Roc Nation artists as well as fashion magazines to create content. With their knowledge of the entertainment industry, they were able to develop POSH into a management and ticketing platform that is comparable to a “Shopify for events,” according to Taylor-Lemire.

“The existing events industry is extremely monopolistic. Incumbent brands use a pay-to-play model to keep corporate event organizers exclusive to their products. They put their brand before their organizers’ and make it extremely difficult to manage and scale the communities that event organizers work so hard to build,” Price said.

The fact that POSH allows users to customize their own “marketplace” to meet their brand through white-labeled event pages absolutely sets it apart from other platforms. Along with these other capabilities, POSH offers kickback offers for attendees to become paid affiliates, ticketing and RSVP tools, marketing tools (email, SMS, affiliate), rapid payouts, dispute resolution, community management, and more. After that, every ticket sold generates commissions for the platform.

Most recently, according to the creators, POSH secured $5 million in a seed round co-led by Companyon Ventures and EPIC Ventures, with contributions from Joshua Browder (founder of DoNotPay), Cameron Dallas, Day One Ventures, Pareto Holdings, and others. The money will be used to upgrade the company’s mobile app, grow its team, and introduce new features.

Additionally, POSH has grown significantly, with a user base of over 500,000 and $30 million in ticket sales. The platform’s use across 6 continents and a 50% increase in live events during the first quarter of 2023 indicate its potential for future growth and worldwide significance.

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