Pull out the giant tub of popcorn: Upstart Atom Tickets has banked more than $60 million in funding to take on the online movie-ticketing segment’s leader, NBCUniversal-owned Fandango.
The company’s Series C funding was led by Fidelity Management & Research Co., with participation from previous investors Disney, Lionsgate, and 20th Century Fox Film. The trio of Hollywood studios pumped $50 million into Atom in 2016.
Atom Tickets has now raised more than $125 million to date. The company has about 80 employees. With the additional capital, Atom plans to further enhance its social movie-ticketing app and website experience as well as boost marketing.
After initially rolling out its service in early 2016, Atom now offers ticketing for nearly 20,000 screens across the U.S. and Canada. The company says it has tripled registered users and ticket sales in the past year (but isn’t disclosing actual numbers).
“We’re pleased to participate in this latest round of financing for Atom Tickets, which has demonstrated enormous traction with exhibition partners, studios, and moviegoers during the past year,” Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns said in a statement provided by the startup. Lionsgate led Atom’s Series A round. The new investment and the backing of Fidelity will help “take Atom to the next level as a groundbreaking force for change in the moviegoing experience.”
Atom touts its social-focused movie-ticketing service, which lets users invite friends to see a movie while they all pay separately. Using the free-to-download iOS and Android app, which also lets customers purchase concessions, moviegoers go directly to ushers and concession counters and scan a QR code at tablet kiosks instead of using paper tickets or vouchers.
Atom’s initial exhibitor partners were AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas, and it has since expanded through deals with Southern Theatres, Showcase Cinemas, B&B Theatres and others. Santa Monica, Calif.-based Atom also powers digital ticketing for Regal and Amazon-owned IMDb.
In the last year, Atom Tickets formed an advisory board with filmmakers Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, and Tyler Perry. The company also has teamed with studios to provide proprietary data and marketing-targeting capabilities on the Atom service and across the web.
“We’re leading and delivering on what the industry needs,” said Matthew Bakal, co-founder and chairman of Atom Tickets. He said its studio investors’ “collective industry leadership has helped guide us through these major milestones.”