Active Ticketing, the UK startup which was a spin off from the Samsung Smart Ticket mobile phone launch, appears to have ceased trading. Last month, Active Ticketing was named in a Winding Up Petition in the High Court lodged by R4P LLP.

Launched in 2015, and headed by Lee Booth and Andy Cleary, Active Ticketing was a commercial spin-off of the duo’s Eskimo agency’s work the previous year in launching the latest Samsung Galaxy handset using a series of intimate concerts by headline artists ticketed solely by mobile.

The 2014 edition of Ticketing Technology Forum opened with a presentation of the technology solution, which had provided mobile ticketing access to the Galaxy Studio Live tour across various UK venues, including a Biffy Clyro concert at Guildford’s G Live venue in late October 2013, along with Laura Mvula in Chelsea, Bullet For My Valentine at Cambridge Junction and Bastille in Shepherd’s Bush.

Fans attending these gigs could also choose to link their PayPal account to Samsung’s Smart Ticket app in order to purchase food, drink and merchandise by tapping their phone against NFC readers at the venues.

Despite significant operational challenges at the venues, the NFC-based ticket was seen as the first step to mobile ticketing.

“Electronic concert ticketing is widely accepted as a great idea and, not least, as one of the means of tackling the much-publicised problems related to unregulated secondary ticketing,” commented Brian Message, chairman of trade body the Music Managers Forum, to NFC World in November 2013.

“It is great to see the largest smartphone manufacturer Samsung take the initiative with a technology which also enhances the most important relationship in music, that between artist and fan,” Message added.

The NFC-based technology behind the then Samsung Smart Ticket was licensed exclusively to Active Ticketing and named STiKiT – a mobile technology that it says “removes the need for paper or physical tickets to events, a medium that is expensive to manufacture, costly to monitor, open to fraud and provides next to no cross-sell or up-sell opportunity.”

Through 2014 and 2015 the firm conducted further trials of the STiKiT technology in partnership with high profile brands, these included Warchild O2 (Passport to Bars) and what it claimed to be the world’s first Beacon/geo-location automatic check-in at a spinoff meeting for GSMA/Momentum at Mobile World Congress for 1,000+ C-level execs in Barcelona.

In its investment prospectus of September 2016, Lee Booth claimed: “The STiKiT platform has already been successfully used to power events for a number of large blue chip organisations including Samsung, MasterCard and the GSMA. The company has established strategic alliances and partnerships with PayPal, SAP and HP. The company has contracts and is ready to engage with Telefonica, O2, Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile and others that will enable the Company to secure first year ticket inventory in excess of 17 million units generating revenues of £1.50 per unit.

In its 2016 investment prospectus Active Ticketing identified two different challenges that it may face in acquiring ticketing inventory: “In mature markets, the US, UK and EU, ticket inventory will have to be negotiated with both existing traditional ticketing businesses and box office / venue partners. Risk associated with this is access to sufficient inventory to meet demand and key events that may not be available. AT seeks to mitigate these risks by partnering with at least one of the key ticket providers and to work with federations and national venues to ensure sufficient supply.

“In emerging markets the challenge is a lack of inventory and digital access control. In these markets AT will work with MNO and brand partners to ensure that we gain access to all available countrywide inventory.

“Other risks include transaction fees charged by Mobile Network Operators via operator billing. Existing fee bands may be too high and access to third-party payment gateways such as MasterCard, Visa and PayPal may be needed to meet existing ticketing market transaction fee levels.”

Active Ticketing’s original bond offer was Fully-Secured Bond “to be used to fund the final stages of the IPO process, as well as the expansion of Active Ticketing business. Active Ticketing has a secured €30,000,000, which is being held as security for the bond, meaning anyone investing in the bond is indemnified should Active Ticketing fail to meet its obligations to investors.”

Last month, Active Ticketing was named in a Winding Up Petition in the High Court lodged by R4P LLP. The legal proceedings are not finalised but Companies House states that Active Ticketing’s first set of accounts should have been filed by 3 April 2017 but remain outstanding.

Efforts by TheTicketingBusiness.com to obtain a comment from Active Ticketing were unsuccessful. Emails to employees of Active Ticketing bounced and calls were not returned.

Update 28.3.18 : Since publication, TheTicketingBusiness has learnt that the High Court action has been postponed to 2 May with Active Ticketing informing the court it intended to pay all creditors in full. In addition, Andy Cleary has requested the following clarification be published: “I have never been a Director, Founder or Officer of the Company despite what has been published in early versions of IM and Prospectus documents. I last provided consultancy services to them (sic) approximately 18 months ago.”

Image: Active Ticketing Twitter