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Eventbrite launches reserved seating option

Eventbrite, an online ticketing platform where tens of thousands of individuals, businesses and organizations of all sizes manage, promote and sell out their events, just took another step toward into the traditional ticketing industry and the territory of bigger players like Ticketmaster.

Eventbrite announced a new self-service seat reservation option on Wednesday to help users organise events of any size, whether it be a community centre a church or an air show. The feature is free and lets users customise seating maps for different event spaces and set ticket prices using drag and drop tools.

“This version of our reserved seating product, and really what we think is the most important, is the non-traditional venue spaces,” Julia Hartz, cofounder and president of Eventbrite, told Mashable in a recent interview. “We imagine that we will develop this product over time to include more traditional uses likes box office that will directly tie into a venue’s backend system.”

When asked whether the goal is to compete more directly with existing services like Ticketmaster, Hartz said no, at least in the short-term. “Immediately, no. We are serving our core customer which is that long tail,” she said. “We obviously see the future being one where we own every live experience. There is an inevitable portion there, but we are not there yet.”

Eventbrite topped $1 billion in ticket sales in 2012, about six years after it was founded. A little more than a year after that, it processed its next $1 billion in sales. The startup raised $60 million in funding last year, bringing its total funding to $140 million.