Aventus Taps Veteran Technologist and Entrepreneur Robert Weiss to Serve as CEO and Leverage its Blockchain Technology to Help Venues, Teams and Talent Fight Fraud and Grow Revenue Through Better Fan Experiences
FanDragon Technologies has launched with $12 million in funding to spearhead the development of secure ticket delivery solutions for events and destinations by commercializing the Aventus digital assets-focused blockchain protocol. Veteran technologist and entrepreneur Robert Weiss has been named the founding chief executive officer. Weiss has also joined the board of directors of FanDragon Technologies.
FanDragon Technologies has opened offices in Los Angeles, New York and London. Under Weiss’ leadership, FanDragon will create SaaS tools and mobile products to combat fraud and scalping across the full spectrum of ticketing markets – providing sports, music, theater, cinema, family entertainment, fandom events and theme park ticket sellers additional data, transparency and control over the process. As a result, rightsholders can improve the fan experience, unlock additional revenue streams and better protect the overall integrity of events.
With this funding and leadership, FanDragon Technologies is uniquely positioned to serve the emerging needs and regulatory changes in the ticketing marketplace. According to a 2019 report from Juniper Research, mobile tickets are set to account for more than 50 percent of ticket transactions on digital platforms this year, and mobile ticket users will total 1.9 billion by 2023.
Unfortunately, a recent Aventus survey found that 12 percent of people purchased a fraudulent ticket online and two-thirds are afraid of buying a fake ticket. To combat this, governments and consumer protection groups around the world have focused on ticket scalpers and counterfeiters.
In the US, Congress passed the 2016 BOTS Act to thwart scalpers and reintroduced the BOSS Act to bring greater transparency to ticketing. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also launched summer workshops to explore consumer protection issues related to ticket sales. The U.K. government previously passed the Consumer Rights Act to protect consumers buying tickets through the secondary market and the European Consumer Organization launched a campaign this year to educate and warn consumers about fraudulent tickets.
“I am honored to be leading FanDragon. This is an exciting time to be innovating in the ticketing space,” said Weiss. “Fans and rightsholders need help. Everyone is negatively impacted by software bots and scalpers that drive up prices, counterfeiting organizations that scam venues and fans and the overall lack of transparency in the ticketing industry today. We need a better way to protect the fan experience and decrease fraud. The FanDragon team is thrilled to provide all that through our unique technology and forever improve the ticket-delivery experience.”
Before being named CEO of FanDragon Technologies, Weiss served for nearly five years as the CEO of The Arpanet Group, a next-generation technology and digital media advisory and investment firm that provided hands-on operating leadership for tech-centric businesses. Throughout a career spanning consumer tech, entertainment, news and music, Weiss has overseen numerous successful company launches, expansions, rebrands and turnarounds.
Weiss has served as CEO and COO of a wide variety of tech and digital media companies including EQAL, RockYou, NotMe Solutions, PollPalls, FanBread, BANG and Multimedia Platforms. Named by Variety as one of the top leaders in the tech-media business, Weiss also served as a senior executive for cable networks including VH1, FX, the arts network Ovation and the music network FUSE.
The FanDragon and Aventus teams have been collaborating for the past several months to design a next-generation blockchain-powered SaaS platform. Blockchain entrepreneurs and Aventus founders Annika Monari and Alan Vey envision FanDragon Technologies as the primary portal through which ticketing stakeholders can leverage the unique benefits of the Aventus Protocol. Combining the scale and privacy of permissioned blockchains with the security and independence of open blockchains, this protocol revolutionizes the way digital assets are issued, managed and transferred across enterprise supply chains.
“We are excited to announce the formation of FanDragon Technologies and we are thrilled to have Rob leading the charge,” said Vey and Monari. “The ticketing experience today is broken and in need of disruption. We created the Aventus Protocol with the goal of addressing consumer frustration, giving talent and venues the option of enforcing pricing, and improving confidence around selling and buying tickets. FanDragon is uniquely positioned to take our flagship technology and deliver solutions that empower buyers and sellers. Even more, Rob’s experience building businesses and leading successful executive teams will bring our vision of an improved mobile ticketing industry to life.”
Unlike other ticket-centric companies, FanDragon Technologies does not sell tickets, but rather provides software solutions that clients can integrate into existing infrastructures and applications without interrupting normal business processes or relationships. With FanDragon, rightsholders and fans can experience a more secure ticketing event experience and eliminate counterfeiting and unauthorized ticket resale. At the same time, rightsholders can engage directly with fans through FanDragon’s unique wallet feature, provide ticket purchasers with information about the event, and better understand the fans who attend multiple shows.
“The name ‘FanDragon’ speaks to our company’s mission of protecting fans and giving them a better experience, which ultimately means more revenue for our B2B partners,” added Weiss. “The ticketing business is simultaneously exploding with innovation but also consolidating. This is a time when we need innovation to continue. Tickets rightsholders and fans deserve some alternative solutions in the marketplace.”
FanDragon’s board of directors consists of Weiss, Monari, Vey, and Mike Jones, the former CEO of Myspace and current CEO/co-founder of Science Inc., the successful start-up incubator studio and venture fund that has seen more than $1 billion in exits including Dollar Shave Club (Unilever), HelloSociety (New York Times), DogVacay (Rover) and FameBit (Google).
To provide rightsholders with information about fans, revenue streams, reduce fraud, and combat bots, FanDragon’s technology was built with real-market feedback to include:
- Control from start-to-finish: Tickets are distributed via the open Aventus blockchain protocol, with a set of rules customized for each event by the inventory rights holder. Each ticket can be distributed, transferred, and ultimately redeemed for access at the venue.
- Delivery through a mobile wallet: Once a customer completes their purchase, FanDragon’s modular suite of services seamlessly delivers tickets and locks them securely to the buyer using a mobile ticket wallet, which can be embedded into a partner’s existing app using its proprietary SDK.
- Audience insights: FanDragon’s tools provide a full view of people attending an event, even if the tickets have been transferred or resold via a preferred resale partner. By moving toward identity-based ticketing, these “phantom attendees” can now be reached and engaged.
- New revenue opportunities: FanDragon’s unique wallet solution allows sellers to connect with all customers easily to present commercial offers, such as day-of seat upgrades, VIP access, merchandise and food and beverage incentives.
- Audience engagement: Secure tickets enable sellers to reach each attendee, either in advance of or during an event, with custom offers and direct artist-to-fan engagement.
- Control the secondary market: Limit ticket scalpers or license a fan-friendly exchange and earn additional revenue from resale partners.
More FanDragon Technologies staffing and product news will be announced in the coming weeks.
About FanDragon Technologies
Your Tickets, Your Rules, Our Tools. FanDragon Technologies is reimagining the global ticket distribution business with a revolutionary SaaS platform that brings control and transparency back to ticket rightsholders. Leveraging open blockchain technology, FanDragon Technology’s unique ticket mobile delivery system relieves the most frustrating and costly burdens faced by venues, promoters, musicians, sports teams, and most importantly — the fans. With offices in Los Angeles, New York and London, FanDragon Technologies is led by industry experts with decades of first-hand experience in global-scale ticketing. For more information, visit FanDragon.com.