SquadUP’s story begins where other great startups you read about began: Inside a college dorm room.
“It was a pretty rinky dink operation,” Founder Willie Litvack admits with a laugh. “We have learned a lot and changed a lot along the way.”
SquadUp is a Lyte ticketing partner. The two platforms began working together for the 2019 Charleston Wine + Food — and the pairing was an instant success. The high-end, in-demand lifestyle festival, like other popular live events, had dealt with its share of problems stemming from secondary market influence: exorbitant fees, inflated prices, no-shows, and fraudulent resellers, to name a handful.
This year’s Charleston Food + Wine Festival, though, was different. Check out these results alone:
- More than 3,000 customers used Lyte’s exchange to buy and sell tickets for 111 different events.
- Tickets equaling 4.4 percent of the Festival’s capacity were sold through the Lyte platform.
- Lyte reduced the festival’s no-show rates — the number of people who bought tickets but did not attend — by nearly 20 percent.
“The Lyte exchange was used heavily by attendees,” Litvack says. “A meaningful amount of tickets were exchanged and our clients were happy. It went beautifully.”
SquadUP was the event’s primary ticketer. The Los Angeles-based platform offers mobile-first ticketing along with a completely white-labeled implementation for enterprise customers.
SquadUP also offers a cloud-based check-in for guests using its One-Tap system; event managers also can scan QR codes using their phone’s camera or a hardware attachment.
The whole thing is white label, which means SquadUP can quietly integrate ticketing services into event websites without anyone knowing it’s there.
Litvack started SquadUp in 2012 when he was a senior at Duke University. The idea was to create a self-service and mobile-first ticketing platform for consumers — but Litvack soon found that “self-service was a tough nut to crack.” He tweaked SquadUP’s services to instead target high volume and brand sensitive event organizers, and by March 2013 he was running the business full-time.
Today, the company’s client roster includes cultural icons including the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Riot Games, Village Vanguard, Charleston Wine + Food, and more. In June 2019, the Los Angeles Business Journal named Litvack one of the city’s “20 in their 20s” to watch.
Partnering with Lyte has made SquadUP’s client services even stronger, Litvack says. As SquadUP explained on its blog:
“We wanted to offer a simple solution to reselling your SquadUP ticket without navigating the murky waters of secondary ticket resellers. We partnered with Lyte to offer an amazing ticket resell experience to our guests. Lyte is a technology platform for event hosts to take control of their ticket reselling experience. Lyte is an extension of the SquadUP ticketing service and helps reduce fraud, driving down no-show rates and delivering real savings to fans.”
High-end events like food and wine festivals are more susceptible to the secondary market than one would think, Litvack says. The higher the ticket price, the more likely it is for shady resellers to creep their way in.
With Lyte, that worry disappears.
“What’s cool about Lyte is that it enables us to give our customers the benefits of a secure and fair secondary ticket exchange,” Litvack says. “Our customers want their events full, but they don’t have a return policy. If you don’t buy sold-out tickets through Lyte, you don’t have any guarantee they are real.”
Adds LItvack: “With Lyte, you are safe.”
Lyte makes it easier for fans to go to more live events. Founded in New York City and San Francisco by CEO Ant Taylor, our killer fan feature is returnability. In an industry where a “no refunds and no cancellations” policy is the standard, Lyte enables fans to return their event tickets, no questions asked, to the official point of purchase.
Lyte also provides a safe and official reservation booking system, offering fans who sign up a fair price for in-demand tickets. One hundred percent of the tickets bought and sold through Lyte are issued through our ticketing partners and delivered directly to fans. Lyte has delivered millions in fan savings — $1.8 million in 2018 alone. It’s only getting better from here, thanks to our growing partnerships with bands, venues, promoters, ticketers and festivals.
For the industry, we function as a full inventory management solution, including a private-label secondary market to optimize event yield for event producers. Visit lyte.com.