A dozen acquisitions in a year and a half. The management platform for padel and tennis clubs Playtomic has completed the tenth purchase: the American Kourts, which stands as the market leader. This aggressive expansion strategy has been carried out with a mix of stocks and cash. The objective is to consolidate a particularly fragmented sector and thus gain sufficient size. Today claims to have more than 4,000 clubs who use its platform in more than thirty countries. They want to accelerate in this ‘post-pandemic’ year and take advantage of the strong growth of racquet sports to reach a gross turnover of 100 million euros.
In the first half of 2019, the company, founded by Pedro Clavería, Félix Ruiz and Pablo Carro, I raise 6 million euros in one round which was led by GP Bullhound, also a partner of other large companies such as Glovo or Wallapop, and in which the co-founder of Klarna, Victor Jacobsson, and the Swedish fund Optimizer Invest participated. After several months deployed the purchasing strategy, both in the United States, where they were made with Tennisbookings, as in Europe. In Spain they acquired Reservations Center and Reserveplay. But perhaps the most paradigmatic was made in Italy, with PrenoteUnField, whose founder became a counselor of the Spanish. It was in the summer of 2020, in the midst of a pandemic. Precisely, the outbreak of Covid-19 weakened some of those rivals, which also encouraged these movements.
Now, you have just completed the Kourts, founded in 2016 and with which the Spanish startup team had been in contact for a long time. Offers reservations and management solutions for clubs. It is known as the equivalent of ‘Opentable’ but from the tennis industry. The terms have not been made public but, as explained to La Información by one of the co-founders and CEO, Pedro Clavería, the strategy followed so far has been to offer more cash and fewer shares -contrary to what was signed in the first transactions-. Keep in mind that the American had raised 5 million dollars, according to data from Crunchbase.
Both the Kourts operation, the PrenotaUnCampo operation and the rest have a clear objective: to gain much more volume and consolidate in international markets. Thanks to all these purchases, today it has more than 4,000 ‘connected’ clubs to its platform in more than fifty countries. Spain, Italy and the Nordic markets -with a great penetration of this sport- they are key, although the United States will gain weight after this move. Its business model is based on two revenue streams. The first is the sale of the ‘software’ for cloud management of sports clubs and facilities. “Software is a ‘commodity’ for us,” says Clavería.
The key is in the reserves. What is known as SaaS (selling a computer program as a service and charging a commission) is very limited. As Clavería explains, they charge 129 euros per month for their exploitation. This means that the number of current clubs barely exceeds half a million euros in monthly income. They understand that where he is biggest business is in reserves. For each of them they charge a commission as pure distributors. For that they are not a ‘marketplace’ to use, but they acquire all the volume of reservations from the clubs and they make the transaction directly on their platform, so they do not charge that ‘fee’ but rather the entire price of the reservation , which can range between 15 and 40 euros in most cases.
When they started in January 2017 they barely had Bookings on your platform. A year later they reached 3,000 a month. In the summer of that year, 12,000 were reached. Today, according to Clavería, they exceed 900,000 worldwide. This will take them, according to their own numbers, to reach 100 million euros of gross turnover. Playtomic’s net sales in its Spanish parent company reached 4 million euros before the pandemic, in 2019, as reflected in the annual accounts of the Mercantile Registry.
Purchases and no profitability (for now)
Although the acquisition strategy has been fulfilled in general terms, Clavería points out that they have planned a smaller transaction to shore up their presence in some countries. The goal now is not only to grow in presence, but also elevate the business through added services on the platform. They consider offering players the possibility of ‘promoting’ their match in order to achieve a rival to play with beforehand. In addition, they are also studying to launch an ‘app’ for monitors.
Playtomic today is not profitable, nor do they plan to achieve that profitability in the short term. In order to maintain the investment rhythm, in addition to financing through debt, they have raised several rounds of financing. Until the beginning of 2020 it had been more than 10 million euros. Today the company is controlled by the founders by the hand of GP Bullhound, which has become the main financial partner. Today his council is chaired by Per Roman, co-founder and managing partner of GP Bullhound, and with Felix ruiz, shareholder and co-founder, as vice president. The directors include the CEO of the British fund Kabo Ventures and a former advisor to Jobandtalent, Karl Bornefalk, and the Nicola Biffi, co-founder of PrenotaunCampo. Among its shareholders is also the fund FJ Labs, also a partner of other Spanish companies such as Genially, Jobandtalent or Paack.