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The Kayak of Tickets Thinks Bigger

Six years ago, Dartmouth College graduates Jack Groetzinger and Russ D’Souza created an online marketplace to collect listings for concert and sports tickets the way Kayak does for flights. Their website, SeatGeek, now draws more than 8 million monthly visitors who can compare prices from ticket resellers, see a photo of the view from a given location, and get tips on the best time to buy. Like Kayak, SeatGeek built its business without its own inventory. Until last month, all its listings came from about 500 outside vendors who paid SeatGeek a cut of referred sales, usually around 10 percent.

Under pressure from industry heavyweight StubHub, SeatGeek has begun moving away from aggregation and into the resale market. Earlier this month, Groetzinger and D’Souza’s company released a version of its mobile app that lets people freely send tickets to one another using their smartphones. Users can also list and sell tickets in exchange for giving SeatGeek a 15 percent cut, a function added to the company’s desktop site in November.

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