San Francisco-based Eventbrite has confidentially filed for an initial public offering. The digital-ticketing company is expected to go public before the end of the year, with Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase as its main underwriters, the Wall Street Journal reports.

IPO rumors have long been circling the company founded by Julia Hartz, her husband Kevin Hartz, and CTO Renaud Visage. The ticketing startup launched in 2006 with the mission to take event-planning services used by large organizations and offer them to smaller companies that host everything from conferences to wine festivals. Eventbrite takes between 1 to 2.5 percent of the ticket price, plus an additional processing fee.

Former CEO Kevin Hartz previously co-founded Xoom, a money remittance company, in 2001. Julia Hartz began her career as a television producer at MTV and FX Networks. She took over for her husband as CEO of Eventbrite in 2016, the same year she claimed the company would reach profitability. Its financial information will remain confidential until closer to its stock listing. Eventbrite declined to comment.

Since starting the company, Hartz and her co-founders have focused on maintaining a culture that encourages its employees--known as "Britelings"--to partake in other business decisions, including office design. Today, the company's 900 employees also enjoy perks including "Zen rooms" and catered lunches.

A significant portion of Eventbrite's growth has come from eight acquisitions of similar companies, including last year's $200 million deal for Ticketfly, helping transform Eventbrite into a ticketing powerhouse available in more than 180 countries. The company has a strong record of attracting other entrepreneurs to join its ranks, with seven of the eight founders of its acquired companies joining Eventbrite in senior positions. These entrepreneurs have helped Eventbrite process more than $10 billion in gross ticket sales and raise more than $350 million from investors, including Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, and T. Rowe Price Group. Eventbrite reached a $1 billion valuation in 2014.

In May, Hartz explained her reasoning behind pursuing a public offering to the Financial Times. "We've always thought that if we could get to a place and build a sustainable company clearly positioned for the long term, then it should be a public company," she said.

Published on: Jul 23, 2018