Gametime, an app that helps sports fans find last-minute ticket deals, has raised a $4 million round led by Accel Partners that also includes participation from prominent investors like former Yahoo COO and San Francisco Giants principal owner Jeff Mallet; Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive; and Box founder Aaron Levie.
The startup, which launched in San Francisco and is now in 18 markets, scours the Internet for the best deals on game tickets and brings them to your smartphone. Tickets to sporting events generally decrease as the game approaches, and Gametime uses an algorithm that finds available tickets based on price and location.
The app, which features panoramic shots from stadium sections, allows you to pay for tickets and download them straight to your phone without having to print anything. You can also text or email tickets you’ve purchased on the app to friends. Gametime, which sells tickets to MLB, NFL, NCAA, NBA, NHL, and MLS games, makes money by taking a small cut from every purchase.
CEO Brad Griffith got the idea for Gametime after he missed the first inning of an MLB playoff game two years ago because of problems with printing tickets. He compares the app to HotelTonight, which finds cheap, last-minute hotel deals.
The founders of HotelTonight are actually also investors in Gametime, as is StubHub founder Colin Evans, who is now the Gametime’s chief revenue officer.
Griffith told GeekWire that Gametime is experiencing rapid growth, with the fresh cash coming at a “crucial time for our company.” The startup saw ticket sales rise by 50 percent from July to August, and increase by 600 percent from January.
“We’re going to use the money to grow the team, open up more markets and ensure our mobile experience is best in class,” Griffith said.
Total funding for the company, which launched in Seattle last month, is $5 million. Griffith added that engagement in Seattle has been growing at a faster clip than most other cities.
“Seattle’s the center of the mobile world in many ways, so we’re excited to help fans have more great nights out,” he said.