SportPursuit raises funds led by DFJ Esprit

SportPursuit has raised funds led by DFJ Esprit, with participation from Silicon Valley Bank, to drive its international growth. SportPursuit is a website for sport’s enthusiasts.

PRESS RELEASE

SportPursuit, the UK’s largest ‘flash sales’ website for sports enthusiasts, has raised £5m led by venture capital firm DFJ Esprit, with participation from Silicon Valley Bank, to drive its international growth.

The fast growing retailer was launched just over two years ago and recently celebrated securing its millionth member.

The company sells more than 600 of the world’s leading sports brands such as Marmot, Helly Hansen, Canterbury, Garmin, GoPro and Icebreaker.

Leading angel investors including William Reeve, chairman of Graze.com and co-founder of LOVEFiLM; Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla; and Alex Saint, CEO of Secret Escapes also invested in the funding round.

The new investment will be used to expand SportPursuit’s range of brands and products as well as to expand into new international markets in Scandinavia and mainland Europe. Word of mouth recommendations have already seen the business acquire many members outside the UK and it has shipped products to more than 40 countries.

Adam Pikett, SportPursuit CEO and co-founder, said: “We started this business because we love great sports kit and we wanted to give customers a better way to discover more of it. Sport is a passion category; it gives people a lot of pleasure, so they like to treat themselves on new kit.

“Flash sales are the perfect way to inspire people to discover, try and fall in love with great brands and products that they wouldn’t have found otherwise. We are creating new demand and growing the market. £9 out of £10 spent on our site is incremental; it’s on products that people would not have discovered otherwise that day.”

Mr Pikett added that being an internet-based, data-driven business allows the company to “give each member something new, relevant and interesting every day…because of this, brands are now using us as a platform for growth”.

Krishna Visvanathan, Partner at DFJ Esprit, said: “We first backed the SportPursuit team in their early days. They have gone on to build a market leading position very quickly and have tremendous growth opportunities ahead. We are delighted to lead this round and include experienced private investors and our own DFJ Esprit EIS investor group who have all invested under the tax efficient Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).”

SportPursuit’s ‘flash sales’ typically last only seven days, with deals exclusive to SportPursuit and prices guaranteed to be the “best in the market”.

The investment round was also supported by Silicon Valley Bank.

About SportPursuit

SportPursuit is 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, Salomon, Icebreaker and Inov8 to help them grow their businesses, by showcasing their products to new customers, thus creating new advocates for them.

About DFJ Esprit

DFJ Esprit is one of Europe’s most experienced venture capital investors, helping entrepreneurs build ground-breaking technology companies. In the last three years, DFJ Esprit’s exits have generated more than $2.3 billion in combined enterprise value. Portfolio companies include Achica, Apatech (sold to Baxter Healthcare), Conversocial, Datahug, EVE (sold to Synopsys), Graze, Greenpeak, Horizon Discovery, Icera (sold to Nvidia), LOVEFiLM (sold to Amazon), Lyst, Neul, SportPursuit, StrikeAd, The Cloud (sold to BSkyB), ZBD Displays and Zeus (sold to Riverbed).

About Silicon Valley Bank

Silicon Valley Bank is the premier bank for technology, life science, venture capital, private equity and premium wine businesses. SVB provides industry knowledge and connections, financing, treasury management, corporate investment and international banking services to its clients worldwide through 27 U.S. offices and six international operations. Silicon Valley Bank is the California bank subsidiary and the commercial banking operation of SVB Financial Group. Banking services are provided by Silicon Valley Bank, a member of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve System. SVB Financial Group is also a member of the Federal Reserve System. (Nasdaq: SIVB)http://www.svb.com.

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