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Atom Tickets raises $60 million in Fidelity-led funding round

Atom Tickets raises $60 million in Fidelity-led funding round
Matthew Bakal and Ameesh Paleja are the co-founders of movie ticket app Atom Tickets, which has raised $60 million in new capital. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Atom Tickets, the Santa Monica online ticket-selling start-up, has raised $60 million in new funding in an investment round led by Fidelity Management & Research Co., the company said Thursday.

The influx of capital comes less than two years after Atom raised $50 million from movie studios Lionsgate, Disney and 20th Century Fox. Those studios also participated in the latest round of financing for the upstart tech firm, which is meant to boost Atom's efforts to grow in the competitive online ticketing space.

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Atom, which uses group-buying technology and data to help theater owners fill seats, was founded in 2014 and embarked on its nationwide rollout in 2016. The idea appears to be gaining ground as theater owners and studios look to experimental technology to improve cinema attendance at a time when they are seeing long-term declines in moviegoing.

The app maker, headquartered in Lionsgate's offices, helps users organize groups of friends to decide on showtimes and pay for tickets. The mobile app also lets consumers order their popcorn and soda ahead of time and bypass lines at the theater. Additionally, it uses data to provide Netflix-like movie recommendations and offers occasional promotions on concessions and tickets.

Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns said in a statement that Atom "has demonstrated enormous traction with exhibition partners, studios, and moviegoers during the past year."

Though it's not as ubiquitous as Fandango, Atom Tickets is now available for about 20,000 movie screens, compared with roughly 15,000 in summer 2016. In December 2016, filmmakers Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Tyler Perry joined Atom's newly formed advisory board.

Atom wouldn't say how many users it has accumulated, but co-founder and Chairman Matthew Bakal said in a statement that the company is coming off its biggest year yet in terms of growth.

"We're leading and delivering on what the industry needs," Bakal said.

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