Baseball legend Alex Rodriguez and his business partner Marc Lore have raised a $20 million funding round for a new ticketing and fan experience business that they hope will outperform the industry’s troubled incumbents.
The funding round for Jump, which has been in stealth until now, was led by Forerunner Ventures and joined by Courtside Ventures, Will Ventures and Mastry Ventures. Additional investors include MetaLab and Drive by DraftKings, with early funding coming directly from the founders, including Rodriguez and Lore. Total funding is now at $30 million.
Management has engaged in talks with team owners and executives to figure out how to improve the status quo and lure potential clients. The ticketing industry has seen a lot of drama lately, with Live Nation Entertainment Inc. executives facing lawmakers in Washington over the botched sale of Taylor Swift tickets in November. Live Nation Entertainment was formed through a merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster in 2010.
Rodriguez and Lore started considering the sector in 2020 when they tried to buy the New York Mets and got a look under the hood of a professional sports franchise. They concluded that there was a chance to improve overall economics by developing a service that caters to fans in the weeks running up to a game, during a match, and in the weeks afterwards.
“As Alex and I began exploring ownership opportunities with sports teams, we spoke to industry execs and began seeing first-hand how many teams were missing the mark when it came to their fan experience,” Lore said in an email. “We quickly realized that there were so many untapped opportunities to rethink the entire fan journey.”
Jump plans to offer services across ticketing, e-commerce, content and event experiences, including dynamic ticketing, which would allow fans to pay to move to a better open seat in the middle of a match.
Chief Executive Officer Jordy Leiser, a co-founder, said in an interview that management hopes to work with the existing ticket sellers and open up the industry with less exclusive deals. He hopes to make live events more personalized and less transactional.
Leiser said the capital will be spent on hiring as they build the product. Jump remains in development mode and needs engineers, product managers and data scientists. He said that Jump isn’t currently looking for additional capital but will raise more as needed, with the product still “quarters away” from hitting the market.
Rodriguez and Lore have put money behind many businesses over the past few years, including a $1.5 billion deal for a stake in the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. Their other investments include online brokerage Tornado and sports stock market Mojo.
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