Vibe restructures in bid for further investment

vibe tickets

Preston-based Vibe Tickets has been placed into administration and subsequently purchased by its founder Luke Massie as it looks to attract further investment.

He has formed a new holding company called Vibe Group Holdings (VGHL). The restructuring exercise is said to have been needed to attract more substantial funding from investors.

The move was revealed in a statement from AIM-listed Vela which took a 5.1 per cent holding in ticket platform Vibe with a £400,000 investment during its last fundraising exercise last October.

Vibe Tickets is a marketplace which connects fans, allowing them to cut out the middle man and save fees.

The statement said: “The funds raised in October 2017 by Vibe Tickets represented broadly six months of future cash requirements during which time it was anticipated that discussions with new investors and existing shareholders would result in Vibe Tickets being able to raise further funds of in excess of £1m”.

It added: “During these discussions between existing shareholders and new investors it became clear to the board of Vibe Tickets that there was a requirement to restructure the Vibe Tickets business in order to attract more substantial funding from investors.

“As a result it has not been possible for Vibe Tickets to reach agreement on the terms of a further fundraise with investors.”

Vibe Tickets' parent company THEVIBE Ltd was placed into administration on April 30 and has now been purchased by Luke Massie, who was its chairman.

The new holding company is set to acquire 100 per cent of Vibe Tickets and 90 per cent of sister business Vibe Pay. The remaining 10 per equity holding in Vibe Pay will be owned by key management of Vibe Pay. The statement added: “It is the intention that further funds will be raised by VGHL”.

Once the restructuring is complete a further investment of £500,000 is expected from Manchester-based tech entrepreneur Scott Fletcher.

Vela says it is looking  at committing £200,000 and if it goes ahead with the new investment it would retain a minority interest in VGHL.

The statement said: “At this stage there can be no guarantee that this further investment by Vela will complete nor the timing or the terms of such investment. A further announcement will be made by Vela at the appropriate time with regards to the proposed investment in VGHL”.

Antony Laiker, executive director of Vela, said: “We have supported Luke Massie and Vibe Tickets since 2016.

“We saw the opportunity to support a business that was both highly disruptive and would enable ordinary fans of music and sport, who were being forced to pay excess fees on top of inflated prices, to benefit from a transparent social media platform to buy and sell tickets.

“Vibe has made strong headway reaching over 84,000 users and has generated over £7m of ticket volume, all with minimal marketing spend. Vibe Tickets is doing what it set out to do - disrupting the big players.

“Various financing routes for Vibe Tickets were explored. However, the corporate structure surrounding Vibe Tickets did not lend itself to securing further funding.

“Based on previous discussions with the management of Vibe Tickets, we anticipate that the ‘restructured’ Vibe business will provide the platform for Vibe to engage with parties who have expressed interest in supporting and growing the business further.”