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Ticketmaster acquires live events industry blockchain technology company UPGRADED

Ticketmaster acquires live events industry blockchain technology company UPGRADED
October 19, 2018

Leading global ticketing software and services business Ticketmaster has announced the acquisition of UPGRADED, a blockchain technology company servicing the live events industry.

UPGRADED converts traditional tickets into secure interactive digital assets protected by blockchain, providing event creators with more control and visibility over ticket distribution, and protecting fans against fraudulent tickets.

The acquisition advances Ticketmaster’s leading portfolio of identity-based venue access solutions aimed at creating a safer and more personalised experience for fans while providing valuable data and insights to event owners around where their tickets are distributed and who event attendees are. UPGRADED’s unique approach leverages blockchain technology combined with dynamic, encrypted barcodes to prevent fraud often associated with paper or pdf-based tickets. The solution can be implemented without requiring a venue to replace existing access control hardware.

The UPGRADED team and technology fits into a suite of breakthrough live event products that include Ticketmaster Presence®, Verified Fan®, and Blink Identity, a facial recognition tool. Presence, a next generation venue access control and fan engagement platform has been implemented in more than 175 venues across North America and is now driving league-wide digital ticketing at scale with the NFL. Verified Fan, a product developed to help event creators better identify and sell directly to fans through a unique and simple pre-registration process, has supported more than 100 top music tours to date.

Commenting on the acquisition, Sandy Khaund, founder and Chief Executive of UPGRADED, stated “Ticketmaster is the unquestioned leader in live event ticketing and is the perfect platform for us to bring the unique promise of blockchain to millions of fans.

“UPGRADED leverages Blockchain to maximise trust for ticket holders, give control and flexibility to content owners, and data to teams and performers. We’re proud of what we’ve built and are looking forward to working with the incredible team at Ticketmaster to help us scale.”

Ticketmaster, North America Chief Product Officer, Justin Burleigh added “Ticketmaster is constantly exploring emerging technologies, and there aren’t many that have the unique possibilities of blockchain.

“We’re excited to have UPGRADED join the team as we continue to focus on providing the world’s leading identity-based ticketing platform to fans, artists, and our clients. We think blockchain and UPGRADED will continue our progress to improve ticketing and create a safer and more seamless experience.”

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