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Want the best seats in the house, then get on that SeatGeek tip!

Want the best seats in the house, then get on that SeatGeek tip!

Russ D’Souza and Jack Groet­zinger left easy-breezy jobs doing man­age­ment con­sult­ing back in 2008. They’d known each oth­er since 2003, both attend­ing Dart­mouth Col­lege and run­ning a fur­ni­ture rental busi­ness togeth­er. Meet­ing dai­ly in a Boston cof­fee shop and com­mit­ting to get a start­up plan ini­ti­at­ed. They saw that Microsoft had bought a small air­line tick­et fore­cast­ing web­site for $115 mil­lion dol­lars and they said “We could do that, but for sports”. Thus the fast grow­ing ecom­merce start­up Seat­Geek was born.

Seat­Geek con­sol­i­dates tick­ets for Broad­way shows, con­certs, and sport­ing events from pro­fes­sion­al bro­kers, scalpers, and fans. Their site made $155 mil­lion in tick­et sales last year. In a $5 bil­lion-plus sec­ondary tick­et mar­ket, that’s noth­ing, but they are tripling their total trans­ac­tion val­ue and dou­bling the annu­al rev­enue. They only charge an 8% com­mis­sion on sales from their enlist­ed sec­ondary tick­et providers. So SeatGeek’s “Deal Score” algo­rithm and inter­ac­tive sta­di­um seat­ing charts, let­ting their cus­tomers know whether they are actu­al­ly get­ting a deal or not, where­as oth­er sim­i­lar com­pa­nies keep it vague.

They wouldn’t have been able to grow quite as fast either if it wasn’t for their immer­sion into the mobile shop­ping explo­sion. This got them the atten­tion they need­ed to get a $35 mil­lion dol­lar injec­tion of ven­ture fund­ing last August. Ecom­merce is over­tak­ing social media on smart phones and they have made it a breeze to buy. Almost half of their sales is mobile and those cus­tomers appear more loy­al than desk­top users says D’Souza.

They are look­ing to hire dozens of Android and IPhone devel­op­ers to get their com­pa­ny up to 100 employ­ees from the cur­rent 51. John Locke of Accel Part­ners, who led SeatGeek’s lat­est $35 mil­lion fund­ing round “By going mobile-first, Seat­Geek can out-inno­vate Stub­Hub and Tick­et­mas­ter.” Stub­Hub used to list on Seat­Geek but they pulled their list­ings. Despite StubHub’s depar­ture, SeatGeek’s sales vol­ume rose from $18 mil­lion in Octo­ber to $25 mil­lion in Decem­ber (and $49 mil­lion in the first half of 2014 vs. $106 mil­lion in the sec­ond half).

D’Souza envi­sions a world where all tick­ets trans­fer auto­mat­i­cal­ly through the Seat­Geek app. “There shouldn’t be this gray area about where my tick­ets are,” he says. “The future is, you buy a set of tick­ets, it imme­di­ate­ly shows up on your phone, and you scan that into the gate.” Well folks if this doesn’t make you want to send them a resume, I don’t know what will. A tick­et-cen­tric tech savvy orga­ni­za­tion with good seats to all the sport­ing events. Send em’ if you got em’.

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