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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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