San Francisco-based event ticketing company Vendini has opened a new office in downtown Petaluma, a move that puts the fast-growing company at the doorstep of the North Coast’s theater, arts and live music scenes.
The move comes less than a year after it acquired InTicketing, a Sebastopol company that specialized in online and box-office ticketing for music venues, promoters and festivals.
“Vendini really sees Petaluma as a kind of portal, a gateway into the booming community of arts and culture of Sonoma County,” said Stephen Weisz, the former CEO and founder of InTicketing.
The new office, which currently has about 25 employees, is projected to have 70 employees in a year or so, spokesman Paul Chalker said.
Weisz, who is now Vendini’s head of business and development for live music in North America, said the Petaluma location will allow Vendini to expand its Bay Area operations — away from the urban headaches that now plague Silicon Valley and San Francisco businesses, including sky-high rents, long employee commutes and painful parking.
The company, which also has offices in New York City, Boston and Knoxville, Tenn., considered a number of locations but Petaluma seemed to have it “all rolled up into one,” Chalker said.
“Our San Francisco office is already full,” Chalker said, adding that a number of Vendini “team members” already lived close to Petaluma.
“We wanted to have a presence in Sonoma County, and Petaluma embodied the art and creative culture that is what Vendini is all about and what our members are all about, too,” Chalker said.
Founded in 2001, Vendini initially focused on online ticketing for performance arts venues. Today, it has a little over 100 employees and provides an array of ticketing software and hardware for music, sports, arts and other events. In March, the company announced its technology had been used by customers to sell over $1 billion in tickets and works with such festivals as Burning Man, Outside Lands and Bonnaroo. A quarter of those sales took place in 2014, according to the privately held company, which declined to disclose its revenues.
It purchased InTicketing in August to expand its reach into live music, acquiring the Sebastopol company’s roster of clients and its ticketing technology.
“Overnight, Vendini acquired a large portfolio of live music clients from rock and jazz clubs to (electronic dance music), as well as bands and artists and independent promoters,” Weisz said.
Weisz started InTicketing with a partner in 2001 in the garage of his Mill Valley home. It initially focused on online ticket sales, competing against ticket sales giants like Ticketmaster, and quickly expanded its lineup to include a broader spectrum of event services, such as festival management and merchandise sales.
InTicketing moved to San Rafael several years later, expanding to about 35 full-time employees, then streamlined operations and moved to Sebastopol about two years ago. To make the company run more efficiently, Weisz implemented a number of measures, including hiring contractors to do tasks that were previously performed in-house, such as programming. It had 15 full-time and contract employees when it was acquired last August, said Weisz.
Vendini is the latest Bay Area company to move to Petaluma, a trend fueled by the city’s proximity to San Francisco and the relative affordability of both commercial office space and housing. Last month, Allianz announced it would close its longtime campus in Marin County and move its Fireman’s Fund Insurance operation to Petaluma, transferring more than 500 workers later this year.