“The Geeks” may not be so geeky when it comes to finding the best sports seats in town, after all. SeatGeek helps users save money on sports and concert tickets. The company searches dozens of ticketing sites in real time and plots all these tickets on an interactive stadium map.
When someone purchases a ticket, they actually make the purchase from one of their partner websites (e.x. Vivid Seats, TicketsNow, or Stubhub) and SeatGeek earns affiliate fees. In an interview, Russell D’Souza, SeaGeek’s co-founder, mentioned “we’re able to build a large business exclusively on affiliate fees because the average transaction we’re seeing is around $250 and ticketing sites are willing to pay 8-12% in affiliate fees for that traffic.” Russell D’Souza describes the company as a “technology company that happens to be in event ticketing. We hire brilliant engineers and product folks and turn them loose in an industry that is notoriously technologically challenged.” The company’s biggest innovation is “deal score” which ranks every ticket listings from a scale of 0-100 and colour-codes each ticket listing based on the quality of the deal. As D’Souza notes “we want to help users find the best deals regardless of their budget. If a user wants to spend a few hundred dollars per ticket for an opportunity to sit courtside, then we want to make it easy for him to identify the best deals.” I asked D’Souza how he thinks entrepreneurs should approach raising money. According to D’Souza, SeatGeek has raised $2.3 MM in funding from angel investors and Founder Collective (an early stage VC in New York). Russell described the $2.3 MM raise as “the perfect amount of money for our company. Fundraising is a distraction. We wanted to establish a long enough runway so we could focus on building a remarkable company. Too much money can also be a bad thing. We’re a scrappy company and having $15 to $20 MM of funding can mean spending money just because you have it.” As for future fundraising plans, D’Souza mentioned that there’s no immediate need for additional funding and that the internal focus in on getting to profitability which he believes will be attained in the next few months.
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