Oct. 17, 2018

#50 Ticket Scalpers, Beware! Blockchain Is Coming for You.

#50 Ticket Scalpers, Beware! Blockchain Is Coming for You.

Why should you care about blockchain if you’re not a huge cryptocurrency nerd? Bandwagon founder Harold Hughes says it can help you score better seats to see your favorite team — and avoid the risk of walking up to the gate with a fake ticket. Can he convince investors his startup isn’t just a part of the blockchain bubble? 

Today's investors are Howie Diamond, Jillian Manus, Phil Nadel, and Michael Hyatt.


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Go behind-the-scenes with the founders and investors on The Pitch



Aaaah.. Blockchain!


You’ve read about it, and your cryptocurrency obsessed friends have tried to explain it - now it’s our turn. Why does blockchain matter if you aren’t into this whole cryptocurrency thing? Well today on the show, our founder says he can use it to solve a problem you actually care about - making sure you’re getting great tickets to the big game. 


Harold: we’re using the blockchain in a way that it’s not used or talked about often, and I really think that we’re going to be to do this. 


This is Harold Hughes and he’s here to raise 1.5 million dollars for his startup Bandwagon.


Is his company part of the blockchain bubble, or could this business actually... work? Our investors will have to decide. 


I’m Josh Muccio, and from Gimlet Media, this is The Pitch


Our investors today: 


Jillian: Jillian Manus


Jillian is a partner at Structure Capital, where they’ve invested $98 million so far in high-profile startups like Uber.


Phil: Phil Nadel


As a serial entrepreneur Phil built companies that sold for hundreds of millions of dollars. Now he manages one of the largest syndicates on AngelList.

Michael: Michael Hyatt


Michael built and sold two software companies for over $500 million dollars and now he invests for himself.

Howie: Howie Diamond 


Howie is our rockstar investor. No really, he was in a band. And since changing gigs, Howie’s invested in over 50 startups.


Alright, on with the show!


Harold: Hey everybody, my name is Harold Hughes, and I'm the founder and CEO of Bandwagon. But before that, I'm a sports fan. College football, soccer, NBA, anything. And so like many sports fans, I found myself watching the NBA finals this summer, where the Golden State Warriors won their third title in four years. Now, Warriors fans all over the country wish they could have been in that building when they won that title. But with the average ticket price being more than $1700, the hopeful fans really need to find a way to get a bargain. And that's where the problem began. Hundreds of fans were turned away at the gate this year for the NBA finals, because unbeknownst to them they had fake tickets. so we're looking at this as a big problem. So what would you do if I told you that teams and event organizers could eliminate fraud but at the same time elevate the fan experience? Well, today, thanks to our solution, built on the blockchain, they can. So my team, small yet scrappy, is here raising $1.5 million to address the $2.3 billion ticket fraud industry and really reshape what authenticity and validity looks like in the secondary ticket market. 


Michael: So just to pare this down for the listeners, what you're saying is that you're going to be using the blockchain, which creates something called an immutable ledger, so that you're guaranteeing that when I get a ticket, it's really the ticket.


Harold: Correct.


Michael: So the likelihood of me getting a scam ticket is very low.


Harold: Correct.


Thanks, Michael! Doing my job for me. 


But I do want to break this down a tiny bit more. Ok: a distributed ledger is what blockchain is all about. You can sort of think of it like using a Google doc instead of a physical notebook. So maybe I’d normally keep my records in my own notebook, but now I put them into a shared document online that other people can see and edit - if they have permission. Any changes are logged, you can see when those changes happened, and the whole system is decentralized from any one computer.


So in Bandwagon’s use case with sports tickets, this makes it possible to verify that your ticket is actually real. 


Phil: Can you just give me your pitch to a team. You're going to pitch to the Warriors. What are you saying to them?


Harold: I think they're partnered with Ticketmaster. So we'd say, hey you guys are partnered with Ticketmaster and they do 20% of your stadium for as far as helping you get fans into that seat. But actually, a lot of your season ticket holders are re-selling their tickets on platforms like Craigslist, Facebook, all these other platforms. So what we're able to do is give you an API key that allows you to be able to track any time a ticket moves digitally regardless of where it goes outside of the Ticketmaster ecosystem. So what we're doing for the team is giving them more distribution options, but also…


Phil: So wait, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but you lost me there. So if I'm a season ticket holder, and I want to sell my tickets to one game, would I go... I can go to any, independent of the Warriors, I can go to any secondary market and sell it and you're saying while I do that, the Warriors can still track the ticket and make sure it's legit?


Harold: Today they do not.


Phil: No, but with your technology?


Harold: Yes. With our technology, they'll be able to confirm to that secondary partner that that ticket is still...


Phil: So then the secondary, I'm sorry, the secondary partner, let's say StubHub would have to also be on board and use the API and connect and transmit that information to the Warriors?


Harold: Yes. And so that's the value of our API. So it's a two-way street. For the team, they want to know who's there so that they can help curate the experience, make sure they're confirming that the ticket's valid, and getting that person in and delivering whatever products or services. 


Phil: Seems like they wouldn't care as much as StubHub would care?


Harold: Well, it's two way. So it still cuts both ways. But for StubHub on the other side is we're going to give you a certainty validity that this ticket is initially issued at Ticketmaster to this fan.


Phil: That seems like a higher value add.


Harold: Yes. But we have to start with the team, because we've got to get... In tracking any asset, you've got to go to the first creation of it.


Phil: The issuer.


Harold: So we have to go to the issuer first. So that's why we have to go to the Warriors or…


Michael: So where are you now in the product release?


Harold: So our product is live. We rolled out our first customer in May of this year. So we partnered with a university, Sacramento State. The Sacramento State Hornets. We did baseball. They had no idea who was showing up to their baseball games. Their fans were buying tickets from various channels and so we were able to put together a solution that said, now we're able to capture, we captured 48% of their baseball fans in our eight game pilot with them.


Michael: Like, names and numbers and emails?


Harold: First name, last name, email address, gender, socio-economic status, relation to, geographic relation to the team. And then we followed up with a survey to say, aside from watching Sacramento State baseball, what else do you watch? Do you watch Sacramento Kings, do you do football?


Michael: So the data is very valuable to the host*, is that what you're saying? You're guaranteeing who turns up and you're guaranteeing you can communicate, market to them. 


Jillian: Ticketmaster has all that as well. And most of the teams already have this. we deal with professional sports teams all the time. I'm just... It's a long sales cycle, Ticketmaster, it's a very arduous partnership, a long journey, even if they... And a very difficult to integrate into their system 


If it sounds like Jillian really knows the sports world — she does! She's invested in a sports management company.


Jillian: They'd like to control their tickets, they'd like to know what's going on, but I don't see this as a big value to the teams, to tell you the truth.


Harold: I understand the complexity of the Ticketmaster component. We met with their CTO last week in LA And so we talked about the components and being able to use that in competition with their competitors. So 50 million fans go to college football every year, and that's largely not Ticketmaster. 39 million fans go to minor league baseball, millions go to concerts. And so what we're looking at is being able to aggregate it. The reason that the team or that asset creator cares is because they want to have a piece of that revenue. So if I sell a ticket to I guess the Warriors Cavs game,I think they were like 295 is what the list price was if you bought them from them. But then they were trading for 1700. You're the Warriors or the Cavs, you want some of that revenue. Because we're going to be taking a toll for every time the ticket moves digitally, we're able to do a revenue share.


Phil: You share that with the team.


Michael: That's interesting.


Harold: Yeah. So the ticket moves from Ticketmaster's ecosystem to StubHub, then for us, our goal is to say, okay, anytime StubHub has to check the confirmation that this is a real ticket, you take 10 cents or 20 cents, you share it with the team. 


Michael: So let's go into that a little more. I like your big data play, and I like what you just said. Because I think that's been the holy grail for that discrepancy between what people really end up paying and what people initially pay. So let's take this example of the one place you have going right now. What kind of revenue do you have going through that? How does it look? 


Harold: Yeah, so for our teams we charge a flat rate fee, so an annual license. We start at $25,000 but discounted it for Sacramento State for them to be our pilot customer. But our first technology partner which I don't think I can publicly say, they actually do tickets, they actually manufacture the tickets for teams. We're working with that company so that every one of their physical tickets is now being loaded onto our blockchain. So we have 558,000 tickets already on our blockchain for an MLS soccer team, and we have an NFL team that shares that same stadium. 


Michael: And then tell me how else you make money in that stadium?


Harold: Oh sure. So number one, we charge them an annual fee. Number two, for any ticketing partner that distributes that team's tickets, we charge a per ticket transfer fee, the toll.


Michael: How much is that?


Harold: Ten cents right now. And then the last fee is any other technology stakeholder wants to help round out that customer profile, we also use that as well. So an example of that is the concessions operator. You're sitting on a hundred hot dogs, it's the fourth quarter, three minutes are left. You don't want to throw them away. You want to try and at least get to zero. 


Michael: So you're going to push a coupon to say, hey, you get a hotdog for $2 or something instead of 4.


Harold: Yep. So gets a hotdog for $2. But the other thing that we're doing on the front is because we're able to know the demographics of the person before they come to the game, I mean we'd have your socioeconomic status, if you paid $600 for this ticket that normally costs 100, you're probably price insensitive. My background's economics on that. And so now I would say, hey, as soon as you walk in, Michael here's a coupon for you, or here's an app that we're going to have for mobile concessions. So instead of you getting up and spending $10 for a hot dog, missing the game and standing in line, for $12 we'll deliver it to you. And if you're price insensitive, you'll say, yeah, I'll do that. 


Howie: This is going to sound like the weirdest question that’s ever been asked on this show. Do you know someone named Fluffy Pony?


Harold: I definitely do not.


Howie: Okay.


Phil: Yep. That's the weirdest question. 


Howie: because he started a company, he started one of the big crypto assets currencies, I think it’s Augur. It’s one of the bigger ones. He’s been in the crypto space for ten years. And I hate to say this, but he just started a company that is exactly like this. 


Howie’s comment sucked the air out of the room.


After the break we’ll hear how Harold handles it.




Welcome back! Before the break, Howie broke the Fluffy Pony news - 


Howie: I hate to say this, but he just started a company that is exactly like this. He partnered with some, he partnered with the ex-CEO of I believe Ticketfly. And he also partnered with the ex, a good friend of mine, who started Redbox Tickets. And the three of them got together and are doing the exact same thing and just closed a $10 million round 


Harold: Yes. I’m familiar with that company. I don’t remember his name in it, but I remember seeing former Ticketfly. The biggest challenge in that is that they are using Ethereum. And other blockchains that don’t have the speed that are able to keep up with the way that tickets are going to be transacted digitally. we’re one of the first partners in IBM's Hyperledger Fabric blockchain using it in a ticketing application. And so that's really unique in the fact that it's going to allow us much more speed than Ethereum or Bitcoin. 


Jillian: So you're decoupling it from crypto?


Harold: Yes. We are not using crypto at all.


Jillian: So this is just blockchain.


Howie: They're not either. 




Harold: We're using the underlying point of blockchain technology, which is distributed ledger. 


Harold’s making an important clarification here. Blockchain and cryptocurrency often get lumped together, but think of it like this: Cryptocurrency lives on the blockchain, but blockchain technology itself is much broader. As are the business opportunities. 


Michael: What should an average size stadium bring you in revenue, gross revenue to you? Not like, just revenue to your company, not ticket sales.


Harold: We should be able to do $100,000 per stadium that we sign on.


Michael: Okay. And the gross margin...


Phil: What's the breakdown of that?


Michael: And the gross margin is almost 100%. It's all your money. You're not paying anything out of that.


Harold: Phil, to your question, we look at the license going to be somewhere around $50,000 for the larger teams. And so the team that we're talking about professionally, they would pay us a $50,000 license. And then we would do a rev share of how many times that ticket transacts. And so with it being 550,000 tickets for that team, it's another 10 cents per ticket. So $100,000 for that one sports team for that season. 


Michael: So you're ready to go right now? Your product's ready? You can just go sell to a hundred stadiums right now?


Harold: Yeah, product's ready. We are raising now and so we have one team that's already loaded their blockchain, their tickets. Another will go on in July. We're redesigning our dashboard. There's an API that we've already built for Ticketmaster customers . 


There’s been a lot of talk about Ticketmaster in the room today. But, there’s a ton of other players here, StubHub, Tickpick, RazorGator. 


Phil: you’ve mentioned that there are a lot of secondary ticket markets. How many of them have you talked to? How many have you pitched? And what’s your success rate?


Harold: I’ve talked to six. 


Phil: So of those six, how many said yeah, I’m in.


Harold: We didn’t pitch them to have them sign on. Because for us it makes more sense to get the primaries. The way the ticketing market is is that you have to go to the Ticketmasters, the AEGs, the Live Nation, that whole group before you get to them, because some of them won’t necessarily want you to work with some of the smaller ones. And so we didn’t want to pick a small company and sign them and then go to a big ticket company.


Phil: I’m having trouble understanding that piece of it. So I get that you have to pitch the teams and get them to sign on so that they can authenticate each transfer. And I get that you have to pitch the StubHubs of the world because they’re the platforms that are selling the tickets, and they have the fraud problem. What’s Ticketmaster's role in this and how do they participate?


Harold: Ticketmaster is the largest primary ticket partner.


Phil: So but what’s their participation?


Harold: So they will have to be partner number one.


Jillian: But they’re the hardest sell. Just so you know. I work with Ticketmaster a lot. This is not an easy lift. Just so you know. It’s hard to integrate into their system, it’s hard to gain their trust. It’s a long sales cycle, it’s a long integration cycle, there’s a lot ahead. So I really feel that you need to have one partnership that is not a team, that’s one of these other platforms.


Harold: Even if it’s secondary?


Jillian: Yes 


Howie: Harold, I think you have a really good understanding of this market. I think you've identified a problem that's really important. And I think this is a really cool practical application of the blockchain. I believe in that. And I love the concept. But the biggest problem for me is I just know of another team doing this. I hate to just go back to that. I don't want to be discouraging. But the team that's doing this has one of the most prominent players in crypto  leading the helm, it has a seasoned entrepreneur and operator who has ten plus years working in the ticketing industry. It also has the former CEO of Ticketfly. they're very well-funded and I feel like they're a year or two ahead of you. And I didn't get into their last round because I was staying away from blockchain -


Harold: And that's what I was going to ask.


Howie: And I didn’t. But if I were to get into it, I would invest in them. And so therefore I’m going to pass.


Harold: Okay. 


Howie’s out, which doesn’t seem too surprising, given his praise of Fluffy Pony. But Harold’s got 3 other investors still interested. 


Michael:  I’m trying to still establish like, what does 2018 look like for you? How many more stadiums are you going to sign and what does the revenue look like? How fast can you move?


Harold: We’ll sign three more teams, ah three more stadiums, two of them will be NFL, or excuse me, two of them will be professional and then one of them will be a collegiate team. 


Michael: And how much are you raising?


Harold: We're raising 1.5. We have 300,000 committed.


Jillian: At what valuation?


Harold: At 7 and a half. 


Michael: Have you ever thought about cutting that down to a more manageable chunk and just filling it up and getting moving?


Harold: So we have... So we raised... You’re talking about the amount we’re raising?


Michael: Well, no the valuation as well.


Harold: So we did a valuation, a convertible note at a $5 million valuation cap last fall. That was before we did our pilot with Sacramento State and got them 48% of the identities. Before we added Orlando Jones as an advisor or Mellie Price as an advisor. Before we had a paying customer. 


Michael: no I get that. But you still are 300,000 into a $1.5 million raise. So why do you think it’s not full up or oversubscribed or...?


Harold: Oh we just started that in June. June 1st is when we opened up that round./ /


Phil: How much runway does that give you?


Harold: Our burn rate now is 16 6. to your point, you know this space and you believe it and you see it and you didn’t get in that last one. If you believe that it’s a winner take all space, then I completely understand you passing. But if you believe there’s going to be a couple of players, we’re using the blockchain in a way that it’s not used or talked about often, and I really think that we’re going to be to do this.


Howie: You think there can be a couple of players in this space?


Harold: I do. I think there's going to be a couple of players and I think we're going to be one of them.


Jillian: Like the confidence.


Howie: Yeah.


Phil: Yeah. 


Can’t disagree with that! Harold seems undaunted by the competition.


Phil: My concern here is that it's a little bit of a chicken and egg problem. And there are a lot of sales you have to make and that's what really concerns me. In other words, it's not just the teams. Then it's the ticketing platforms. And it's not just the ticketing platforms, it's the secondary and the primary. So you have all these different sales, and Jillian was saying and she's right, that these are tough sales to make. Especially on the ticketing side. 


Harold: Right. 


Phil: And, you know, if Howie's right and there's another company doing this, you've got to move fast. And to do that, you need people on the ground selling. So your burn's going to go up, your runway's going to go down. I just feel like, for me, there's so much uncertainty at this stage that I'm going to have to pass for right now.


Harold: Okay. And I just want to say one last thing. I assure you, yes, the sales model is tough and challenging. I've sold to Blockbuster and Kodak before they went out of business, we've sold to Facebook...


Phil: So you're the kiss of death?


Harold: Well, maybe! But I've also sold to Facebook. And we'll be able to do that, we've made every sacrifice to get here and to do this. if there’s anyone who’s going to be able to figure out how to do this, it’s going to be me and my team.


Phil: I actually believe you.


Harold: Because of how we’re doing it. 


With Phil’s pass, that leaves 2 investors. Here’s Michael. 


Michael: I ah... I really like you.  So actually I want to invest in you and this company. I just, I don’t think I'm going to be close to your valuation. And the other problem is you’ve already pigeon holed yourself in this $5 million round and everything else. So this is what I’m going to tell you. I think I would go into a round later with Phil, in your A round. And I’d like to pay a $20 million valuation when you have a lead VC and a ton of revenue and a ton of stadiums. And I’d rather pay up later. So if I don’t pay early, then I’ll pay up later. Which is less risky. But I gotta tell you, I’m disappointed here. Because I would like to give you money. you're the kind of dude I want to back. You’re easy to back. 


Harold: Thank you, man. 


Jillian is the only investor left. 


Jillian: So here’s the thing. I’ve been down this road before. That’s the problem. I know what’s ahead of you. And I believe you have the confidence to really, to be able to take these hurdles. But I’m not quite sure you truly understand the sales cycle on these. The teams are not easy. They get pitched so many different types of opportunities that they shut down. Probably 99.9%. And because it is blockchain, there’s a frenzy about this, an excitement about this, but there’s also that big unknown piece of it. So you’re now trying to sell something that is... Goes right to their highest risk. And in a way, to mine as well. Simply because I do know what’s ahead of you. I’m going to pass, a little bit because the valuation is too high. But also I really like for you to have one anchor partner for me to feel that this is going to be able to scale. And at that point, I’m interested. 


Harold: Okay.


Jillian: Just one.


Harold: All right. I can do that.


Jillian: Okay. But you are so the real deal.


Harold: Thank you.


Jillian: We love you.


Harold: I appreciate it. Thank you all so much.


Phil: Thank you Harold. 


Harold leaves the room without any investment. But the investors stick around to chat more about this one. 


Phil: The concept is great. He's great. It's just there's so much uncertainty at this point.


Michael: I'm going to follow this one. I want to see if he can sign up ten stadiums, get some revenue going. Maybe pivot again. But I believe good marketplaces have a number of competitors, but although your folks sound like they're going to do really well, Howie.


Howie: Fluffy Pony.


Michael: Yeah. Fluffy Pony. Funny saying that.


Phil: If he can make a business just out of selling the teams, without having to sell the... And if they’re content with getting some of those other benefits, just the 30% or whatever, then fine. But I don’t know that that’s doable. He didn’t, he wasn’t pitching that. 


Howie: He needs to get out there. I think he’ll raise this round, no problem. He’s great. And he’ll get to 1.5 and then we’ll see where it goes. But I think the blockchain is a paradigm shift. I mean, there was the mobile computing paradigm shift, there was the cloud computing paradigm shift. I think the blockchain is a new paradigm shift, it’s just early. I don’t know yet how to invest in it. Do I invest in the infrastructure layer? Do I invest in protocols? Do I invest 


Phil: I don't want to necessarily invest in blockchain. I want to invest in a company that has a cool application that happens to be using blockchain to enable it.


Michael: It has business value.


Phil: Right. It has business value.


Howie: And that’s what I think this was. Cool.


After the break, I give Harold a call to hear what was going through his head during this rollercoaster of a pitch.


Harold: nothing's worse than you know getting you know a gut punch that early into the presentation. 




Welcome back! A few months after he came on the show, I called Harold, to reminisce about his pitch. 


Josh:   in the room there's there's this moment where Howie kind of stops the conversation to say hey have you heard of this crypto veteran fluffy pony who is building the same thing as you and it's already raised a crap ton of money. Like did that catch you off guard? 


Harold: Oh absolutely. I mean it definitely did it first. You know Howie was the surprise person in the room. And so as I was trying to do all the research so who was going to be there that was the wildcard. And then once he was there he threw out a name like Fluffy Pony which to me was like OK is he joking, is he playing with me? And it's interesting Bandwagon doesn't play into the cryptocurrency space at all. And I don't know attest to be a cryptocurrency enthusiast at all. So I have no idea who this person is. then when he says who he's working with is it. Oh yes of course I've heard of it but yeah completely caught me off guard and I just had to reset and at some point in the episode I talked about that and saying OK how if you invest. Did you invest in that guy's company and the fact that he said No I was OK. Well then how he's probably not going to invest in us then because if if he believed in the solution or in the space then he would invest in his buddy’s company. And so the fact that he didn’t made me say OK I'm dealing with three people right now. And it's probably just too because Phil would probably want to see more revenue. And so at that point I knew early on how to frame my conversation and how to really address the room. 


Josh:  huh. So then do you think that changed the course of your pitch? 


Harold:I think so, because I think I'm I mean I don't know the audio version of visibly is but I was visibly shaken I think probably in the room and you know maybe came across that way in audio and so yeah I had to re..reset that and figure out how to make sure I position that because nothing's worse than you know getting you know a gut punch that early into the presentation as we were still trying to talk about the problem talk about how unique our solution is why we are the right people to do it, but at the same time I still had to just refocus on the fact that we went into the room for Jillian to be our investor with all the research and everything that we learned about it. Julian was the number one person we wanted and we wanted Michael to come in as well and we didn't think we would have a chance with anyone else. So that, so that really had to say OK how do I reframe this to make Jillian and Michael, possibly, comfortable with the answers that we're giving to this new information that was presented in the room from Howie?


Josh:  I told you this was Super Bowl of pitching. 


Harold: I know and the whole time I was in there thinking about that and I was just like am I going to come back is this going to be like the Patriots versus the Falcons? I'm going to come back from like 24...24 3 because that...because I mean what he said that it put us in like a pretty big hole like that was going into halftime trailing kind of conversation. Was just like. All right. Let's shake this off Harold, let’s figure out a way to get back out there boys and do this thing so,  


Josh:  so in the pitch room one of the things that Jillian really honed in on is the need for you to snag one big partner in the ticketing world and to really align yourselves with them. How's that going? 


Harold: Well our first team partners Sacramento State now has us talking to their ticketing company critics and so we're working to figure out how that integration will go so that we can support them. So really what we were thinking is how the model would work. Working so we're excited about having the conversations with Veritix. We're also talking to the folks in ticket city in Austin Texas. And so really we think that one of those two will be our first ticketing partner and we've already got an e-mail queued up ready to send to Jillian and Michael just so we can say hey you said that once we checked this box to reach out to you. And so we definitely want to close that loop for sure. 


Josh:  That's awesome, you actually have an e-mail already written? 


Harold: Already written. Because because we knew it we knew how the process was going to go and so you know I wrote it on the plane flying back from the pitch. 


Josh:  Wow. is that is a thing that you do often are you like to think like... 


Harold: I mean when we got one of our first investors Melley Price onto our team, I knew I wanted her to be an investor for eight months. And so I went ahead and said hey this is what I think you'd bring to the team and here's why I'm really excited to work with you. And so when we finally got connected with her I just changed a couple of things for you know making it more relevant to the time and sent that email and it was important to me because it's almost like a vision board I think that you kind of see it. You believe it and then you can you know make it come to fruition in that way. 


Josh:  So there's this bit in the news just came out where Ticketmaster is accused of earning double commission on tickets through scalping websites scalping rice sales I should say. What did you think when that news broke?


Harold:  all these stories that have been swirling this week and it's been exciting for us. I've probably received that e-mail maybe 30 times. “Hey have you seen this article. You see this video. Have you seen this link?” And so for us I think it really gets to the boiling point where fans are really frustrated. when you find out that a billion dollar company could potentially have been you know double charging you are double dipping as far as getting more fees, that definitely doesn't sit well with anybody. But I think as far as as much as we continue to learn about it, we’ll really find out that they're just the true nature of the ticketing business creates incentives for such things. And I think that's really what's going to be what comes of this is that we're really going to see more people crying for better distribution and more open opportunities to buy your tickets to anything. And that's why we're building Bandwagon, we think we'll be able to play in that space. 


I don’t say this often on the show, but I was really surprised that Harold didn’t get funding, with the exception of Fluffy Pony, things seemed to go really well. Harold comes off someone who really knows his stuff and can clearly roll with the punches. But perhaps in the Wild West of the blockchain different rules apply? Like maybe it would have all been different if Harold had a sweet crypto name like Fluffy Pony...


Regardless Harold is still working to fill out the round, and he’s actually doing an equity crowdfunding campaign, raising money from the general public through the end of 2018.


Best of luck Harold. I really do hope you can stop all those ticket scams. For personal reasons too, Let’s go gators!


Thanks for listening, I’m Josh Muccio. See you next week.


Our show is produced by me, Josh Muccio, Molly Donahue and Kareem Maddox,. We are edited by Blythe Terrell with help from Caitlin Kenney.

We are mixed by The Eman. Original music composed by The Muse Maker. Our Theme Music is by Breakmaster Cylinder.

Lisa Muccio planned the recording of this pitch.

We discovered BANDWAGON because of an introduction from Christie Pitts and Arlan Hamilton with Backstage Capital. 

A quick disclaimer, no offer to invest is being made to or solicited from the listening audience on today’s show.

You’ve been listening to The Pitch from Gimlet Media. We’ll be back with a brand new episode, next Wednesday.

Phil NadelProfile Photo

Phil Nadel

Investor on The Pitch

Phil Nadel is the Founder and Managing Director of Forefront Venture Fund and of Forefront Venture Partners, one of the largest syndicates on AngelList. He has started and sold several companies and has invested in more than 200 startups with several exits.

Jillian Manus // Structure CapitalProfile Photo

Jillian Manus // Structure Capital

Investor on The Pitch Seasons 1–10

Jillian Manus is Managing Partner of an early-stage Silicon Valley venture fund, Structure Capital. Branded “Architects of the Zero Waste Economy," they invest in underutilized assets and excess capacity. She was named one of the top 25 early-stage Female Investors by Business Insider in 2021. Jillian serves on numerous corporate and non-profit boards, these include: Stanford University School of Medicine Board of Fellows, NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center Board of Directors, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Howie Diamond // Pure VenturesProfile Photo

Howie Diamond // Pure Ventures

Investor on The Pitch Seasons 1, 4 & 10

Howie Diamond is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Pure Ventures, and early stage investment firm that also invests in the development of its founders. Also a musician, Howie founded and sold a music management/licensing company in Los Angeles called Lo-Fi Music. After that, he moved to San Francisco and began working closely with dozens of start-ups running business development for a Bay-Area tech agency called Sparkart.

Michael HyattProfile Photo

Michael Hyatt

Investor on The Pitch

Michael Hyatt is a serial entrepreneur and active investor. He is the co-founder of BlueCat, (acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners), and previously co-founded Dyadem (acquired by IHS). He currently serves as a Director of BlueCat and is also a weekly business commentator on CBC, is the Host of “Business Unplanned”, a podcast to help small businesses.