Story of Ingresso
Entertainment & ticketing
December 2012 - March 2017
The best dreams begin with the seed of an idea, solid expertise and unerring vision. If done right, there comes a time to walk away and let the dream soar on its own.
This is the story of Ingresso, a technology company that built a global ticket distribution system for the entertainment industry. The platform seamlessly connects directly to non-compatible ticket platforms, for low cost distribution of tickets in a dynamic environment.
Within five years, Ingresso went generating zero revenue to GBP 112 million and EBITDA GBP 2.3 million revenue, thanks to the support and strategic advice of the Walvis team.
On a wing and a prayer
In 2012, Bart van Schriek, former CEO and Co-founder of Ingresso, knew he had a business idea with limitless potential.
“In the beginning, we literally had nothing but a big idea. We didn’t have any people or systems at the time, but Walvis believed in me and understood that it takes time to build a business,”Bart van Schriek, former CEO and Co-founder Ingresso
Bart already knew the market very well, which worked in their favor. “I’ve been in the entertainment industry for almost 18 years.”
When he met with Walvis in 2012, Bart was surprised how quickly things moved forward. “Walvis loved the idea. And we all brainstormed about how to make it work. Then we presented our business plan to the Walvis Investment Committee, who approved everything,” explains Bart.
“Walvis was instrumental in helping us grow from scratch, thanks to their business and technical expertise and entrepreneurial spirit.”
Step-by-step Ingresso grew into a success
In the first year, Bart developed Ingresso from the ground up. “Walvis was very helpful and understood why we weren’t pulling any profits early on,” explains Bart. Then they made an even bolder move.
Together with Roy Merritt, his Co-founder and Partner of Oakfield Capital Partners, they approached Walvis with a bold pitch for investment capital.
In 2013, they approached Walvis with a new plan — to move headquarters from Amsterdam to London and join up with a similar business that Roy had started. “Naturally this was met with a lot of discussion. But the Walvis team could also see the potential and opportunity to grow, and supported our move.”
It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but it was the right decision.
“It was like flying without a parachute. Within six months, we achieved four times as much growth. We were very pleased by how fast we grew and turned a profit in this new market.”
By March 2017, Ingresso had achieved such exponential growth that it was time to make another big decision. “We’d started with a big idea and wanted to make a proper exit. It was the right moment to let go and a good move for the business at that stage,” explains Bart.
A first exit succeeds on the strength of its team
Roy Merritt, who was also Chairman of the Board, proved pivotal in the success of Ingresso’s exit process. He successfully coordinated the highly complex process and parties along with more than 44 shareholders.
“We turned offers down, convinced we could create a better exit at another company. And we found it at Accesso PLC. They were clearly the best strategic party to expand Ingresso’s growth,” notes Bart.
“It’s never easy to sell a business. It’s an intense process that takes many discussions and time. Walvis was our best choice. We needed a strategic partner to expand and grow before and after the exit.”
In March 2017, Bart, Roy and the Walvis team celebrated their joint success. The transaction was very special for Walvis; it was their first exit and a success — Ingresso had generated a good return for Walvis.
Looking back while moving forward
Bart wraps up the experience for us. “Walvis made it a very smooth process, even when we wanted to expand to London after the investment was made for the Netherlands.” But that bold move proved to be the right move, for Ingresso and for Walvis. And now there’s no looking back. It’s smooth sailing ahead for Ingresso.
Growth numbers before and after investment
2012: Zero revenue at incorporation
2017: GBP 112m and EBITDA GBP 2.3m
Number of employees
0 at start
35 employees in 2017