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Fast-growing online event ticketing company opens Petaluma office

PETALUMA - Ten months after acquiring a Sebastopol-based pioneer in online live-events ticketing, fast-growing Vendini of San Francisco has opened an office in Petaluma that will house up to 70 employees.

Vendini leased 7,598 square feet of office space in Waterfront Office Building at 201 First St. and moved in at the beginning of July.

“Petaluma provides a great mixture of rural and urban environments that our employees’ desire and has a well-established music and arts scene that aligns with our business solutions,” said Mark Dirsa, chief financial officer of Vendini, in a statement.

Occupying the new office are some employees from the San Francisco headquarters, 15 workers connected to the Sebastopol operations of In Ticketing, which Vendini acquired in September. The company also has been hiring - 10 so far - in Petaluma for other positions such as product development, product management, sales, support and fulfillment.

“There’s no question that the competition for talent in San Francisco and other major cities is very stiff right now,” said Steve Weisz, In Ticketing co-founder and head of the Petaluma office. “The talent in Petaluma and throughout Sonoma County is a fantastically untapped resource that aligns really well with our vision and culture.”

Vendini’s coming to Petaluma is important to the city for two reasons, according to Scott Stranzl, vice president of leasing for Basin Street Properties, which owns the three-story, 50,755-square-foot Waterfront building, located in the downtown Petaluma Theatre District.

“It brings technical jobs to the region and it aligns with Petaluma’s long standing passion for the arts and music,” he said. “It also points to a broader trend of Bay Area companies looking north to Petaluma for better rents, an attractive employee base and a more affordable cost of living.”

In the past 60 days, Basin Street Properties has signed Petaluma office space leases, resulting in 22,000 square feet of net absorption, Stranzl said. Net absorption means more space came off the market via leases and sales than went on because of companies moving out or cutting back.

Petaluma has been the most active Sonoma County market for office space needs recently. Net absorption of Petaluma office space was nearly 200,000 square feet in the 12 months ending in March, compared with about 97,000 square feet in Rohnert Park and almost 84,000 square feet in Santa Rosa, according to the latest figures from brokerage Keegan & Coppin/ONCOR International.

Founded in 2001 by Mark Tacchi, the company’s current CEO and president, Vendini (vendini.com) provides an all-in-one solution for live events with easy to use tools for ticketing, marketing and analytics, logistics, fundraising and more for performing arts, live music, music festival and live event spaces.

Tacchi began developing the original Vendini software from a house in Lake Tahoe in-between snowboarding sessions. Beginning as a solution directed primarily at theaters and playhouses, Vendini has expanded into the live music, music and arts festival, casino and sporting event spaces and more.

“I got into the ticketing business because I saw opportunity, but also because I wanted to give something back to the community,” Tacchi said. “It’s my contribution. I can’t act, sing or dance, but I can create awesome applications for the arts that you don’t have to be a genius to use.”

Starting In Ticketing in San Rafael in 1999 were “die-hard music fans” Weisz, an industrial designer by training, and Marc Urbaitel, an e-commerce software developer. The company was first called 420 Ticketing and was dedicated to creating a ticketing website for a Grateful Dead documentary and concert by Jerry Garcia in San Francisco. The name changed to InHouse Ticketing then In Ticketing.

Vendini passed $1 billion in gross annual sales this year.

Representing Basin Street Properties in the Petaluma lease was Tony Sarno of Cushman & Wakefield, while Vendini was represented by Jack Doherty of CM Commercial Real Estate.

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