Eventbrite, the company that lets anyone organize online events and sell tickets to those events, was founded by the husband and wife team of Kevin and Julia Hartz. Chris Dixon sat down with the power couple to discuss the early days of Eventbrite and some of the disruption that Kevin created along the way. Check it all out in this episode of Founder Stories.
In the first clip, Hartz takes us back to the late 90’s when he created and sold his first company (which provided hotels with high speed internet access) to LodgeNet. Then, drawing upon the business blueprint and success of PayPal, where he was an early investor, Hartz built Xoom, a service he says is a “better, cheaper, faster” Western Union that services immigrants and their overseas families.
Riding the ups and downs of being a “first time CEO” while fending off “massive fraud attacks” at Xoom wasn’t easy. Hartz eventually turned Xoom over to a new management team and launched Eventbrite; yet another company that quenched his thirst to challenge “large incumbents.”
In the below segment, Co-founder Julia Hartz jumps in and expands upon Eventbrite’s origins, saying, “we looked at the industry of event ticketing as something that was ripe for disruption because there was no solution for anybody to sell tickets online.” In agreement, Kevin compared the situation to a “pyramid” with Ticketmaster catering to “big complex events” while leaving room for other companies to swoop in and service smaller events. Recognizing opportunity, Kevin and Julia swung the doors wide open. This year, Eventbrite is on track to sell $400 million worth of tickets.
Full exchange is below—check it out.
Past Founder Stories episodes with Fred Wilson, Soraya Darbi, Dennis Crowley and Kevin Ryan are here