Sports tourism start-up Sportihome secures €2m funding from Accurafy 4
Sportihome, the French sports tourism startup, has closed a €2m financing from the Accurafy 4 investment fund, Nathalie Simon (windsurfing champion and TV presenter), the Banque des Territoires (Caisse des Dépôts), Bpifrance and historical Business Angels.
With the “next world” craze for outdoor, rural and holiday rentals, Sportihome has seen its growth explode and intends to continue to stand out from the generalist platforms by relying on the affinity trust of its sports community.
Founded in 2017 in Montpellier, Sportihome is a TravelTech offering a site with a guide to community spots for inspiration and a platform for booking accommodation between sports enthusiasts.
The start-up offers its customers the whole universe to make a success of their sports holidays in “à la carte” mode: on the one hand, accommodation with hosts who are passionate about sports, and on the other hand, sports activities and sports equipment rentals.
With more than 10,000 bookable accommodations online in 40 countries for 60 different sports, Sportihome will see an unprecedented boom in bookings in 2021. Its specialist and quality offer allows it to respond to the craze for outdoor sports, rural and holiday rentals.
Prior to covid, the sports tourism market worldwide was estimated at €710bn, or 10% of all international travel and tourism. This level is expected to be reached again during 2023.
This €2m round marks the entry of a first investment fund for Sportihome. It is the Accurafy 4 fund, based in Luxembourg, which is positioned as the leader of the round with experts in digital scale-ups on board.
Among the investors who took part in the tour is Nathalie Simon, a former windsurfing champion and now a TV presenter, who is passionate about sports and uses the platform as a host. At the same time, she has become an ambassador for the brand. Finally, the Banque des Territoires (Caisse des Dépôts group), Bpifrance and the historical Business Angels support the operation.
This will enable the company to continue its expansion in France by increasing the number of homes from 10,000 to more than 50,000 over the next 12 months, to integrate new unique features, and to forge new distribution partnerships for its brand with major sports and travel retailers. Some 15 new hires are planned between now and the end of 2022.
This investment allowed Sportihome to compensate its emissions for the year 2021 and opened the way to other concrete actions, within the framework of a CSR policy that it wishes to formalize and implement soon.
Frédéric DIAW, co-founder & CEO of Sportihome, said: “Welcoming an investment fund on board the Sportihome adventure is a real proof of the relevance of our model and confirms the excellence of our teams who have shown exemplary resilience during the last months. We look forward to working hand in hand with the serial investor-entrepreneurs of Accurafy 4 to become the key player in tomorrow’s sports tourism!”
Frédéric CARON, co-founder and CEO of Accurafy 4, added: “With this investment, we are strengthening our presence in TravelTech. Sportihome can address an entire segment of the market, offering a huge depth of market. We are delighted to arrive at this stage of the company’s development to support it in a structured way as it accelerates and prepares for its Series A in 18 to 24 months.”
For Nathalie Simon, former windsurfing champion and TV presenter: “Sport and well-being are an important part of my life philosophy. I am always on the move to explore new spots, alone, with my husband or with my family. Owners of the “bastide du Fort”, a real little paradise for sportsmen, which we rent out on Sportihome.com with my husband, I am delighted to be able to join this startup that shares my DNA, that of shared sports pleasure.”