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Eventbrite faced major hurdles throughout 2019 and this year’s coronavirus is already testing the company’s ability to grow revenue.
The company, however, revealed during a recent earnings call a strong finish for the year, particularly as it wrapped up the ongoing saga of integrating new customers from its acquisition of Ticketfly. By the end of the fourth quarter, it completed the migration process and managed to retain 70 percent of Ticketfly’s book of business.
The success of this acquisition paired well with the continued growth of Eventbrite’s so-called Self Sign-on channel, which was up 21 percent year over year. Overall, the company’s revenue reached $327 million for 2019, a 12 percent increase from 2018.
Coronavirus Takes Center Stage
Had the earnings call ended there, Eventbrite would likely be in a much better position than it is today. Unfortunately, the topic of coronavirus was unavoidable, particularly as major events continue to be cancelled across the globe.
“We have seen early evidence of event cancellations that appear to be associated with the coronavirus, and we expect the outbreak will impact live events and attendance in the near-term,” CEO Julia Hartz said.
While Eventbrite only lightly touched on the coronavirus in its earnings narrative, the impact of the outbreak was certainly evident in the company’s 2020 projections compared to previous estimates.
Taking the likelihood of worldwide event cancellation into account, Eventbrite projects first quarter revenue for 2020 to range between $84 and 88 million, well off the mark from industry predictions of $90.2 million.
Investors reacted last Friday as Eventbrite stocks dropped significantly, down 18 percent from the time the market closed on Thursday to the next morning. Still, the company plans to reinvest in product development, platform reliability, and partnerships throughout 2020.
“Excluding revenue associated with former Ticketfly customers who did not migrate to the Eventbrite platform during 2019, our business outlook for full-year 2020 revenue represents a 7 percent to 13 percent year-to-year increase,” the company said in its shareholder letter.
Eventbrite went public in September 2018 and faced multiple hurdles in its first year as a listed company, including the Ticketfly acquisition and the last-minute cancellation of the Roxodus music festival in Canada.
While 2019 tested the company’s ability to handle its internal operations, Eventbrite now needs to prove to investors that it can weather external factors like the continued coronavirus outbreak.