by Blair MacLaren – Partner at Active Venture Partners

We are very pleased to announce that ACTIVE Venture Partners just signed the contract to sell our investment in Ticketbis to eBay Inc (NASDAQ: EBAY)!

We made the investment via our second fund, Amerigo Innvierte Spain Ventures, in 2014, and have supported the company and its team during the past 2 years of rapid growth.

The story doesn’t start in 2014 though. We were excited by the company before then, but when we first spoke to the co-founders and co-CEOs, Ander Michelena and Jon Uriarte, in 2012, there was no opportunity to invest. They just didn’t want a VC investment at that time (see Jon’s 2013 comments here). Fair enough. Sometimes it happens. We are always reaching out to great teams with great ideas, but sometimes there’s no need for investment or the founders don’t want venture capital.

But we didn’t give up. We kept in touch. We chatted at events where we bumped into each other. We drank cocktails on ACTIVE’s terrace. We shared updates by phone. We chatted with Venturepreneurs involved in the company, Eneko Knörr and Jose Marin. We built a relationship. We identified why it made sense to have ACTIVE on board and understood how we could work together.

In 2014 the planets aligned and I remember speaking to Ander on a sunny spring day in Barcelona sitting on a bench on Rambla Catalunya. We decided to move forward. After a few trips to Madrid and some calls, we agreed the terms of our first investment. News of the signing came through while I volunteered at the Commonwealth Games in my home town of Glasgow. Quite a buzz! We are very happy that Ander and Jon trusted ACTIVE and invited us to join their journey as their only VC partner.

The business has grown globally and been localised into more than 45 countries, becoming market leader in Europe and LatAm. That’s a pretty good argument co-CEOs can work! It also takes some execution focus. Well done and congratulations. eBay has just recognised the value that Ticketbis and its team can bring to its business.

I have been with ACTIVE for 10 years next month – it’s quite an anniversary present to receive. My first full investment to exit cycle was BuyVIP, which we sold to AMAZON in 2010. Now I have had the pleasure of investing in Ticketbis and selling it to eBay. Two great Spanish tech companies sold to US e-commerce giants.

This is what we are doing at ACTIVE. Investing in great entrepreneurial teams, supporting their growth and international expansion, and selling to renowned buyers. For that we need great founders with execution excellence – Jon and Ander tick that box.

We are very proud of having backed two excellent entrepreneurs, participated in one of the great Spanish tech scale-up stories, signed our biggest exit ever and made a great return for our investors. Here’s one of the first press articles on the deal.

Thank you Ander and Jon and the rest of the Ticketbis team. “All aboard!” The next leg of your journey awaits.