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Cashless payment innovator PlayPass secures EUR1.9 million capital

Published: 27 august 2018

PlayPass, an RFID and cashless payment technology for the live events industry, has secured €1.9 million in its latest round of capital funding, led by Dutch investment fund Newion.

Since its launch in 2012, PlayPass has developed a suite of integrated payment, access, registration and staff accreditation platforms enabling live events to increase visitor spend by 15-30%, cut bar queues, eliminate ticket and supplier fraud, gain rich analytical consumer data and operate much more efficiently.

PlayPass, an RFID and cashless payment technology for the live events industry, has secured €1.9 million in its latest round of capital funding, led by Dutch investment fund Newion.

Since its launch in 2012, PlayPass has developed a suite of integrated payment, access, registration and staff accreditation platforms enabling live events to increase visitor spend by 15-30%, cut bar queues, eliminate ticket and supplier fraud, gain rich analytical consumer data and operate much more efficiently.

The Belgian company – crowned ‘the most promising enterprise of 2017’ by the Flemish Government – has now delivered its solutions to more than 600 events and 4 million ticket-holders in 19 countries across 5 continents, processing over € 150 million in payment transactions and working with major operators in the live events and payments sectors including Live Nation, AEG Presents, IMG, Mojo Concerts, Last Tour International, Lollapalooza, Goodlive, RSC Anderlecht Football Club, Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, Dice, PayPal, Stripe and Six Payment Services.

Whilst the technology has been most widely adopted by music festivals (from small independents like the UK’s 2000 Trees up to major corporate-owned giants like Live Nation’s Rock Werchter in Belgium), PlayPass has yielded success in other sectors including indoor arenas (Antwerp’s 20,000 capacity Sportspaleis scan more than a million tickets a year with the system) and sports clubs (most recently at RSC Anderlecht, where supporters can now use their season tickets to make cashless payments).

Replicating PlayPass’ festival success in other vertical markets will therefore be a priority use of the new funding, as well as further strengthening its core offering, building enhanced data and business intelligence services, and accelerating global expansion.

Newion Investments B.V., based in Amsterdam and founded in 2000, is an independent venture capital fund specialising in b2b technology providers, particularly those concerned with business intelligence, customer experience management and data insights.

Newion Partner Mathijs de Wit comments on the investment: ”While researching the investment opportunity it became clear that PlayPass’ customers talk extremely positively about their technology. Additionally, we were impressed by the team, their ability to deliver and we look forward to working alongside them, to make Playpass the dominant market leader in its space.”

PlayPass’ Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer David de Wever states: “This capital is intended to fuel our growth and advance our goal to become the global market leader in access and contactless payment solutions for the events market. In terms of enhancing our services, we will be focusing increasingly on harnessing the power of data in new and ground-breaking ways to deliver unique value to our clients.”

On PlayPass’ expansion strategy David explains that: “We will expand our local operations across our strong territories including Germany, Spain, Finland and the UK plus Asia and South America. Elsewhere, we will continue to build relationships with strong local partners acting as resellers or licensees of our products. This model has already proven to be successful for us in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Hong Kong and Finland.”

Newion III is the third business software fund of Newion, focusing on business software companies in the Benelux. Since its incorporation in 2000, Newion has grown to become one of the most successful VC’s in its segment, known as a committed investor in start- and scale-ups. The fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments ('ESFI') set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of ESFI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing. Its previous funds successfully invested in Oxxio (exit), Mirror42 (exit), Q-go (exit), Collibra, iWelcome, SwipeGuide, 24iMedia, Synple, CustomerGauge, Instant Magazine, The Next Ad and Oxynade. Visit www.newion.com for more information