Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 20 No. 41
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Forty Under 40: Russ D’Souza

Ticketing is arguably the most core element of the sports industry. Without fans in the seats, many other things — such as media, concessions and facility enhancements — don’t have the same value.

But in the mind of Russ D’Souza, ticketing has been stubbornly slow to adapt to new technology and marketplace trends. And after several years of building SeatGeek to be a Kayak of sorts for live events by aggregating and analyzing secondary ticket listings, D’Souza in 2015 took the company from industry disrupter to a fully established pillar.

A former management consultant, D’Souza last summer helped broker a major deal with Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement to allow more than 500 Spectra clients, many collegiate programs, the ability to list primary ticketing inventory on SeatGeek platforms. Just a few months later, D’Souza and SeatGeek created the SeatGeek Marketplace in which individuals were able to sell on the site for the first time.

SeatGeek also has been a trailblazer in ticketing’s push toward mobile purchase and delivery, with more than half of the company’s $1 million in gross ticket sales volume per day occurring via mobile.

The company’s rapid progress continues to make it an attractive entity among venture capital investors, as SeatGeek last spring closed on a $62 million round of Series C venture capital financing. The round drew industry heavyweights such as Technology Crossover Ventures, Accel Partners, and the Causeway Media Partners group led by Boston Celtics managing partner and CEO Wyc Grousbeck.

“We’ve spent a lot of time building ourselves into a truly two-sided marketplace,” D’Souza said. “That’s a fundamental enhancement of what we’ve traditionally been. But we’ve now positioned ourselves to be a true go-to destination whenever somebody is thinking about live events.”

— Eric Fisher

Russ D’Souza

SeatGeek | Co-founder
Age: 31
Where born: Glen Ridge, N.J.
Education: Dartmouth College (B.A., history)

Advice I’d give to my younger self: I’ve learned to focus on what will make SeatGeek successful over the next five to 10 years rather than optimize with what will be best tomorrow. Learning this earlier would have saved SeatGeek from some false starts, particularly in our early days.
2016 will be a good year if: 2015 wildly exceeded

our expectations at SeatGeek. We’re going to make 2016 even better.
Person in the industry I’d like to meet: Kevin Plank.
I’d like to change jobs for a day with: Steph Curry. (There’s only one right answer to this question.)
Most thrilling/adventurous thing I’ve done: Skydiving.
You'd be surprised to know: My father invented Listerine PocketPaks.