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Stamps.com pulls in funds for Net ticket venture

Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures and Tickets.com are among the investors pumping $30 million into EncrypTix, a unit that specializes in online ticketing.

Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures and Tickets.com are among a large group of investors that have pumped $30 million into Stamps.com-owned EncrypTix, a unit that specializes in online ticketing, the companies said today.

EncrypTix, previously a wholly owned subsidiary of Stamps.com, develops online technologies that can authenticate, identify and secure printable documents including tickets, checks and coupons. One of the applications of EncrypTix's technology is allowing event-goers to download and print tickets through their personal computers.

"As an independent company, EncrypTix will focus on its opportunities in the tickets, travel and financial service industries," Stamps.com chief executive John Payne said in a statement.

The market for online ticketing is heating up, with companies such as Ticketmaster.com and E-Stamp.com introducing their own home-ticketing systems. Investors and ticketing agencies are betting that the Net will soon act as center stage for ticket sales.

"This new alternative ticketing distribution channel will empower fans who can now go online rather than wait in line," said W. Thomas Gimple, chief executive of Tickets.com.

E-Stamp said it plans to license its home-ticketing technology to other companies to promote wide adoption of such services. Last month, Ticketmaster.com, a unit of Ticketmaster-Online CitySearch, announced plans to launch a service in April that allows customers to buy, download and print tickets using their PCs.

The company also said it plans to install bar-code readers at all participating venues.

Details of how EncrypTix tickets are authenticated at venues were not disclosed.

Other EncrypTix investors include Loews Cineplex Entertainment, Sabre, SunAmerica Investment, GetThere.com, Galileo and American Express. Today's investors will have access to EncrypTix technology.