Matt Higgins, CEO of private investment firm RSE and vice chairman of the Miami Dolphins, is returning to judge Shark Tank on Sunday night alongside Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, and Kevin O’Leary. While Higgins isn’t as recognizable as guest sharks in seasons past, like Charles Barkley, Bethenny Frankel and former contestant now billionaire Jamie Siminoff, the 44-year-old from New York City who dropped out of high school at age 16 to care for his sick mom, is one of the most prominent business developers in America.
According to Trend Celebs, as of 2018, Higgins’ net worth is an estimated $150 million, while his RSE business partner, Stephen Ross, has a net worth of $7.7 billion according to Forbes. Together, these two invest tens millions into companies through their venture capital firm, RSE.
In the restaurant business, Higgins and Ross have financed the popular dessert shop Milk bar, coffee shop Bluestone Lane David Cheng’s Momofuku, &Pizza, and reservation online service, Resy. In an interview with Eater NY Higgins gives credit to his billionaire partner. “The money, to me, is really the smallest part of the equation,” Higgins says. “I don’t think there’s anybody we’ve invested in that couldn’t have taken money from somewhere else. It’s the access to Ross and everything that he’s built.”
While Ross personally owns Equinox, SoulCycle, and his real estate company Related, which recently opened Hudson Yards, a $25 billion development in Manhattan, the bread and butter of RSE is in the sports world. Higgins, who worked under New York Jet’s owner Woody Johnson for eight years before going into business with Ross in 2012, is now an executive with the Miami Dolphins since Ross had already became the team’s majority owner in 2009.
Together, they co-founded soccer’s International Champion’s Cup, and invested a cool $1 million in the first round of funding for the Drone Racing League.
“Everything we do at RSE is founder driven,” Higgins said. “The portfolio is all about connecting the dots and using our strengths to support these founders.”
Higgins and Ross invested $25 million with Gary Vaynerchuck in 2014, and VaynerMedia has since grown to have 800 employees in six locations. They also financed Derris, a public relations firm whose clients include Warby Parker and Carte & Barrel. And in 2018, RSE also invested SkOUT Secure Intelligence.