HauntPay Scares Up $1M in Online Event Ticket Sales, Plans Expansion

Michiganders love their haunted corn mazes. Southeast and mid-Michigan are home to a wide array of Halloween attractions, many of them old-fashioned mom-and-pop operations on family farms. Now, thanks to HauntPay, the owners of these attractions have a newfangled way to sell tickets online.

HauntPay, founded by Core Detroit’s Alex Linebrink, allows users with an iOS or Android device to process ticket sales through its website or in person using a mobile app and credit card reader provided by HauntPay—something he says none of his competitors offer. In exchange, HauntPay keeps a portion of the ticket price.

HauntPay’s website claims it can get customers live “in 60 seconds” and will also supply them with extensive consumer data reports. HauntPay says after it keeps its portion, the money it collects for ticket sales will hit its customers’ bank accounts within two days of the transaction date.

During 2014, HauntPay has so far registered 17,000 users, sold more than 60,000 tickets, and racked up 200,000 pageviews. The company is also a semi-finalist in the annual Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. The winners will be announced next week.

“Last year, we built the ticketing platform and it went really well—it was exactly the test we needed,” Linebrink says. “This year, we really nailed it. The whole process has gone really well, and last weekend, we hit $1 million in transactions for the season so far.”

Linebrink says things have gone so smoothly that he plans to expand the service to other events like beer festivals and Renaissance fairs through a different website called Passage. (Though Core Detroit is still going, Linebrink says that after three years of trial and error, he has discontinued Core Merchant, a generic payment website.) “We can’t compete with Eventbrite, but we’re a little less expensive and our technology is darn near as good as theirs,” he adds.

Linebrink plans to also differentiate HauntPay’s offerings by creating branded landing pages for the entities selling tickets. “Those niches are so small that nobody else will brand for them,” he says. “We want to make some improvements over the next four to six months that will make it really easy to brand and, after that, we just need to hit those sales channels.”

HauntPay/Passage has five full-time employees and has set up shop in a new space on Griswold in downtown Detroit. Linebrink says he plans to start looking for investors after Halloween and is hoping to raise at least $500,000.

“We’re trying to be the first to conquer online and in-person ticket sales at the same time,” he says. “We’re hoping to really accelerate and take advantage of our window of opportunity to conquer these niches and make a big run at it.”


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