SportPursuit.com, the flash sales website for premium outdoor and sports gear, has confirmed a Series C investment round of £9.5 million from Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), Grafton Capital and Draper Esprit.
SportPursuit operates in the market for the clearance of high-end sports apparel, which is estimated at over £10 billion per annum across Europe. By delivering a broad range of quality brands online, with ‘high customer satisfaction and strong repeat business’, SportPursuit notes that it is well placed to take a substantial share of this significant opportunity.
Established in 2011, London based SportPursuit runs week long deals from over 1,000 of the world’s leading outdoor and sports brands including Berghaus, Marmot, Arc’teryx, Under Armour, Garmin, and GoPro, offering discounts of 40-70% off RRP. The deals are exclusive to SportPursuit and prices are ‘guaranteed to be the best in the market’.
“From the beginning we wanted to build something that was good for the industry by coming up with a solution that would actually help brands to manage inventory,” said Adam Pikett, CEO and co-founder.
“SportPursuit serves a different customer mission to other online retailers offering brands a complementary distribution channel,” continued Pikett. “The deals last for one week and sit behind the wall of our member log in. We help manage a brand’s inventory by creating new demand through, inspirational, brand-led merchandising. What we don’t do is serve existing demand since our deals cannot be found through search engines or comparison sites.
“We offer an alternative, complementary, non-cannibalising route to market.”
The company has grown rapidly in both the UK and internationally boasting over 2 million members and delivering to over 40 countries. SportPursuit now offers its deals in 6 currencies and 4 languages, having launched local language sites in France, Germany and Denmark during 2015. The company also recently launched its iOS app and has been listed in this year’s Sunday Times Sage Start-up Track 15.
Deliveries outside of the UK now account for over 15% of revenue, and international is now the fastest growing part of the business.
Pikett explained “The vision was always for SportPursuit to be an international business and the way our new territories have grown has reinforced that vision. This investment enables us to accelerate our expansion and really capitalise on our mission to be the pan-European market leader. It allows us to invest in delivering a truly local proposition in international territories and focus on doing the fundamentals really well; great offers from great brands backed up by a great customer experience.”
He continued, “We’re delighted to bring SEP and Grafton on board. We wanted to work with investors with significant experience of funding high growth online businesses with an international presence.”
Stuart Paterson, Partner at SEP commented, “We are particularly impressed with the dynamic and talented management team at SportPursuit and the rapid growth they have achieved to date. Their strong background in retail strategy and their clear focus on the premium end of the sports clearance market makes them well placed to capitalise on their current position in the UK and to translate that globally.”
Oliver Thomas, Co-founder and Partner at Grafton Capital said, “We are delighted to be partnering with a first rate management team at SportPursuit. The consistency of the company’s repeat business with sports enthusiasts and premium brands is testament to the value they are bringing to all parties in this industry. We look forward to working alongside SEP and Draper Esprit to support the continued development of a category champion.”
Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit, added, “Adam and all the team at SportPursuit are leading examples of the UK’s entrepreneurial technology talent, and are building a fast growing, profitable leader across multiple countries in the dynamic sports industry, by focusing on the customer and their sporting needs. We are proud to have been supporting SportPursuit from the earliest stage to today and for the future.”
Stuart Paterson (SEP) and Oliver Thomas (Grafton Capital) have joined the Board of Directors of SportPursuit. The deal was led by Oliver Thomas (Grafton), Stuart Paterson (SEP) and Martin Brennan (Principal at SEP).
SportPursuit is billed as the UK’s largest private shopping club specifically for sports men and women, operating flash sales of sports brands, which last up to a week and are exclusively available to its member community. It partners with brands such as Berghaus, Marmot, Arc’teryx, Under Armour, Garmin, and GoPro ‘to help them grow their businesses, by showcasing their products to new customers, thus creating new advocates for them.’