Investing in Japan
Ticket Experience Co., Ltd.
Industry： Service / Others
Ticketbis, SL, a Spanish operator of an online platform where users can buy and sell tickets to events, established Ticket Experience Co., Ltd. in Tokyo. With an eye toward the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, the company is working to further expand its sales channels in Japan.
Ticket Experience Co., Ltd. was established in Tokyo in 2014 by the Spanish company Ticketbis, SL in order to enter the Japanese market full-scale. The company operates an online platform where individuals can freely buy and sell tickets to any kind of event, such as sports games, concerts, festivals and theaters. Users can also complete payment and arrange for the delivery of event tickets through the platform.
Established in 2009, the company currently operates in over 30 countries around the world and has been rapidly expanding business. In FY2014, the company achieved sales of 54 million euros (approx. 7.56 billion yen; 1 euro = 140 yen) and its number of employees exceeded 350. On the company’s platform, a total of more than half million tickets have been bought and sold by more than 6 million users. While the C2C market where individuals buy and sell event tickets is expanding in Japan as well as overseas, the company is working to further expand its sales channels in Japan with an eye toward the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The attractiveness of the Japanese market
While Ticketbis has been expanding its business focusing on Europe and South America, entering the Asia Pacific market, especially the Japanese market was always on its mind since its establishment.
Mr. Javier Corbacho, representative of Ticket Experience Co., Ltd., says that the developed e-commerce market in Japan was the reason for making its way to the Japanese market. “It’s not just that the Japanese e-commerce market is very large. It also has one hundred million online users and more than 75 million e-commerce users, and many startup companies are entering the market now. These factors made us think very positively about doing business in Japan,” he says.
Furthermore, the thriving event business market in Japan, such as sports and entertainment, gave the company a push to enter the Japanese market. Many large-scale concerts have been held in Japan recently, including Japan tours of many international singers, and the number of foreign visitors to Japan has been growing. With these acting as a fair wind, the Japanese event market has been flourishing. Mr. Corbacho says, “Japan, with its well-developed online market and numerous events, is a very important and attractive market for us.”
The strengths of Ticketbis
As the company’s strengths, Mr. Corbacho cites “the power of branding as a global company, the wealth of experience in the event ticket sales market and the business operation based on the markets in each country.” As each country has different preferences for and methods of payment and delivery for event tickets, Ticketbis has built different operations that are easy to use for users in each country. He talks about the company’s future vision saying, “We would like to build a platform where users around the world can buy and sell tickets regardless of what language they speak and where they live.”
Expanding its business in Asia focusing on Japan
Ticketbis has been steadily expanding its business in Asia since the establishment of its Japanese arm as well, and in FY2014, the sales in the Asia Pacific market centering on Japan accounted for approx. 10% of its global sales. The company cites the alliance with Japanese organizations as one of the reasons its business has been doing well in Japan. In December 2014, it announced its partnership with Japan Ticket Association, JTA, the one and only business cooperative association in the event ticket industry. Through this partnership, Ticketbis started handling JTA’s tickets for various events held in Japan including concerts, theaters and sports events. Additionally in June 2015, it went into a partnership with FC Tokyo, a Japanese football club playing in the J League Division 1, enabling fans to buy FC Tokyo home games through Ticketbis. The company has been actively working to form more partnerships with Japanese companies and organizations.
The Japanese government is aiming to increase the number of annual foreign visitors to Japan to 20 million by 2020 when Tokyo will host the Olympics. “Currently, the number of foreign visitors to Japan is increasing. Japanese baseball, sumo, kabuki and J-pop are becoming very attractive contents not only for Asian visitors such as those from China and South Korea, but also for European and North American visitors. We would like to contribute not only to achieving the foreign-visitor target by the Japanese government, but also to the dissemination of Japanese media content to the world and to the increased number of foreign tourists attending events in Japan,” says Mr. Corbacho.
Founder, Ander Michelena (left) and Jon Uriarte (right)
Before Ticketbis established the Japanese arm, the JETRO Invest Japan Business Support Center (IBSC) lent a temporary office and provided various kinds of support to the company, including consultations on registration, authorization and licenses, visas, taxes and labor with regards to the establishment of a company, and introduction of service providers such as staffing agencies. Regarding the services provided by JETRO, Mr. Corbacho says, “They did not only lend a temporary office to us, but also set up meetings with partner companies such as staffing agencies and accounting firms, which helped us a lot. Before entering the Japanese market, we thought it would be very difficult, but thanks to the support from JETRO, we were able to do it without any problems. We would like to thankall JETRO team for their excellent support and kindness.”
|2009||Ticketbis, SL established in Spain|
|January 2014||Ticket Experience Co., Ltd. established in Japan|
|December 2014||Partnership with Japan Ticket Association announced|
Ticket Experience Co., Ltd.
|Business:||Operation of event ticket intermediate service|
|Parent company:||Ticketbis, SL (Spain)|
|Address:||6th Floor #A, Takaracho Tatsumi Building 4-1-3 Hacchobori Chuo-ku Tokyo 104-0032|
- Provision of IBSC temporary office
- Support with finding local staff
- Support with procedures for incorporation
- Provision of information on permission and authorizations
- Support with finding real estate/rental space
- Introducing service providers