Venture-Backed Wide Open Spaces Emerges From Stealth

Wide Open Spaces emerged from stealth mode and launched today. The venture-backed company, which raised $1.75 million in a previously unannounced seed round from Mercury Fund, RPM Ventures and Dundee Venture Capital last year, operates an online site called openseason to sell hunting and fishing items. The company is reportedly looking to raise additional financing.

PRESS RELEASE

Wide Open Spaces Hooks Hunting and Fishing Market  with the Launch of openseason™

New social commerce company casts line in $90 billion hunting and fishing market and becomes the catch of a lifetime for brands and consumers

Austin, TX –March 5, 2013 – Today, 37 million sportsmen in the United States can spend less time searching multiple locations for the right hunting and fishing gear and more time engaging in outdoor activities they love. Wide Open Spaces is the first social commerce company to target the $90 billion sportsmen community by bringing exclusive curated offers from iconic and emerging brands in the hunting and fishing industry. The company today announced the launch of openseason™, a one-stop 24/7 shop for hunting and fishing necessities at members-only prices. While Wide Open Spaces sales events last four days, openseason is always open.

openseason is available to all Wide Open Spaces members and offers special discounts, insider deals and staff picks. The openseason shop is organized into categories of interest, such as “opentackle” for lures and lines, “openfish” for rods and reels, and “openunder50” for major discounts.

You can view the openseason launch video from Wide Open Spaces at: http://www.youtube.com/embed/u1FDiQUDgEk?rel=0

“Wide Open Spaces is building the ‘One Kings Lane’ for sportsmen by engaging our community through content and commerce,” said Wide Open Spaces co-founder and CEO, Denis O’Dwyer. “openseason extends our commitment to the hunting and fishing community by providing a site that gives them easy access to quality gear at insider prices. With a true mover’s first advantage, strong traction and hyper focus on a passion-based vertical, we are taking leadership to serve the needs of the largely underserved $90 billion market.”

Membership to Wide Open Spaces is free. The site curates offers on hunting, fishing and outdoor gear up to 80% off retail prices. Members-only offers are delivered via email, and exclusive sales events are limited in time and supply. Combining commerce, social and mobile, Wide Open Spaces members are able to access competitive offers in one location, engage with their favorite brands as well as new and emerging brands, and connect with like-minded sportsmen enthusiasts.

Wide Open Spaces launched in 2012 with seed funding of $1.75 million from venture capitalists and angel investors. Investors include Mercury Fund, RPM Ventures, and Dundee Venture Capital. Wide Open Spaces leadership boasts technology entrepreneurs with a depth of experience in ecommerce, user acquisition, and online marketing. The team includes co-founder and CEO Denis O’Dwyer who previously held key roles at Yelp, Clover, Yahoo!, and Chris Mitchell co-founder and Vice President of Engineering, who held roles at Spredfast, Zilliant, and SocialSmack.

“The hunting and fishing vertical is ripe for disruption, and Wide Open Spaces is emerging as a leader in this space by leveraging their experience in commerce, social, mobile, and technology to deliver a social commerce experience to a market that was hungry for change,” said Mark Hasebroock, Managing Partner, Dundee Venture Capital.

The online market for hunting and fishing gear has not kept pace with other industries that have captured ecommerce market share. One in nine Americans belong to the hunting and fishing community, yet online shoppers have been forced to rely on outdated web sites, fragmented forums, and word-of-mouth to find products and information they need at an affordable price.

“We are thrilled to be a brand partner of Wide Open Spaces,” said Randy Wood, Vice President of Sales, TenPoint Crossbows. “The site is a marked improvement in the hunting and fishing online shopping experience. Wide Open Spaces benefits brands and consumers with a much easier way to find and purchase quality gear.”

Wide Open Spaces has worked with more than 325 brand partners in the outdoor industry and has become a sought after gateway for sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts to enter a socially connected world through social commerce. Leveraging the power of social and mobile commerce, Wide Open Spaces has taken leadership in an untapped market.

About Wide Open Spaces
Wide Open Spaces launched in 2012 with a seed funding of $1.75 million from Mercury Fund, RPM Ventures, and Dundee Venture Capital. The company was founded by a team of passionate sportsmen who previously held key roles at Yelp, Yahoo!, Spredfast, HotJobs – and more, with a mission to improve the way people hunt, fish, and experience the outdoors. With free membership, the company serves as a platform to shop favorite brands while discovering new ones, find exclusive offers with exciting outfitters, and connect with a growing community of partners and sportsmen enthusiasts. The company hosts well-known brands that include: Reaction Strike, Remington, Pure Fishing, TenPoint CrossBows, and SOG.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Wide Open Spaces is helping sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts to Get Out More, For Less. For more information, visit http://www.wideopenspaces.com

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