Online ticketing company Eventbrite has secured $60 million in growth funding from T. Rowe Price and Tiger Global Management, the Wall Street Journal reports, in a move that will surprise some as the firm was rather publicly heading towards an IPO.

The news was confirmed by co-founders Kevin and Julia Hartz – who will be on stage at The Next Web conference this week, and who we’ve just interviewed – to our syndication partner VentureVillage earlier today.

Update: and there’s the press release:

The additional capital will be used to continue innovating, building and changing the landscape of ticketing. This includes accelerating international growth, mobile, event discovery and innovation, as well as attracting and retaining top talent.

In its quest to tackle online ticketing juggernaut Ticketmaster (which actually merged with Live Nation to become Live Nation Entertainment in 2010), Eventbrite recently had some decent numbers to share.

The firm announced at the end of March 2013 that it has helped event organizers around the world issue in excess of 100 million tickets and registrations, which translates to more than $1.5 billion in gross ticket sales since its founding in 2006. One third of those sales were processed in the last nine months, Eventbrite also said at the time.

Eventbrite has raised over $135 million to date.

Amusingly, co-founder and CEO Kevin Hartz told me last year, in person, that the next capital raise for Eventbrite would not be another funding round but instead an initial public offering.

Clearly, there’s been a change of heart since then.

In a comment to the Wall Street Journal, he says the fresh $60 million funding round gives the company “flexibility in setting the timeline for a later IPO, on our schedule”.

According to the WSJ, the financing round values Eventbrite somewhere between $600 million and $700 million.

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