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SEP joins £9.5m funding of flash sales site

SportPursuitAn online retailer selling sportswear on week-long deals has received backing from a consortium including Glasgow-based Scottish Equity Partners.

SportPursuit, a “flash sales” site for sports enthusiasts has raised £9.5 million SEP, Grafton Capital and existing investor Draper Esprit.

It will use the funding to continue its UK growth, accelerate its international expansion and develop new products and services.

 Established in 2011, London based SportPursuit runs week long discounted deals from more than 1,000 of the world’s leading outdoor and sports brands including Arc’teryx, Berghaus, Garmin, GoPro, Marmot and Under Armour.

SportPursuit operates in the market for the clearance of high-end sports apparel which is estimated to be worth £10 billion a year across Europe.

Adam Pikett, co-founder and chief executive, said: “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.

“SportPursuit serves a different customer mission to other online retailers offering brands a complementary distribution channel.

“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 the UK and internationally, boasting more than 2 million members and delivering to more than 40 countries. The company now offers its deals in six currencies and four languages, having launched local language sites in France, Germany and Denmark during 2015.

Deliveries outside of the UK now account for more than 15% of revenue, and international is now the fastest growing part of the business.

Mr Pikett added: “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.

“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, said:  “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: “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.”

Simon Cook, chief executive of Draper Esprit, commented: “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.”

Mr Paterson and Mr Thomas have joined the board of SportPursuit. They also led the deal along with Martin Brennan, principal at SEP.

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