The pandemic hugely affected different industries, and travelling is one of them. Whereas travel tech startup – Maison Sport stood against the pandemic to secure £1.25 million of funding for their global growth. The ski-instructor’s booking platform also announced the onboarding of Skyscanner’s Gareth Williams as an investor.
Fresh round of funding and on boarding Skyscanner’s Gareth Williams
Maison sport has completed a fresh round of funding by raising £1.25 million, following collaboration with a collective of investors, alongside a Seedrs crowdfunding campaign. Over the past six months, the business has secured further funds from their existing advisory board members Kevin Byrne, Founder of Checkatrade.com and serial entrepreneur Lorenz Bogaert, as well as new investor, Gareth Williams, Co-Founder of Skyscanner. The investment will allow Maison Sport to expand globally and to build its enviable portfolio of independent ski instructors.
Global expansion and technology enhancement
The recent round of funding will allow the tech startup to grow its portfolio of instructors and loyal customers globally. It also allows them to enter new markets, and continue to support independent ski instructors across the world. The team set their sights on expansion into four new markets in 2021—Scotland, Norway, Sweden and Japan, and are already making plans for further expansion into Asia and South America next year, following their successful funding round.
Additional growth plans include expanding the team from 15 to 20 by the end of the year and launching a new Edinburgh office. The company continues to enhance the technology and ease of bookings for both their instructor community and customers, and developing new and innovative brand partnerships.
Trio of former ski champions
Despite the pandemic, its trio of former ski champions who started Maison Sport – brothers Nick and Olly Robinson and Aaron Tipping have raised significant funds for their next growth phase. The company now has more than doubled the number of instructors represented on the platform. It leaves the tech travel start-up to stay in forefront as the third largest selection of instructors compared to any ski school in the world. The company now offers individual and group ski lessons from over 1,200 passionate and talented independent ski and snowboard instructors.
The company was born out of the founder’s passion for the industry and ambition to continue working in the sport they love, despite adversities from injury, funding, and international travel. A platform created to challenge the status quo and connect people directly with the very best independent and passionate ski and snowboard instructors. The innovative platform has continued to grow over the past year, overcoming challenges felt across the entire travel industry.
Founder and CEO, Nick Robinson says; “We initially set out to raise £1.4million, but little did we know then, we were set for another UK lockdown, as well as further restrictions on travel rolled out across Europe. We’ve been blown away that we managed to come really close to the ambitious targets we set ourselves, but it’s taken a lot of hard work, dedication and resilience.
“Right from the outset, launching the Maison Sport business has come with obstacles to overcome. We set out to challenge the status quo and make real change, so from day one, the three of us have worked incredibly hard to share our vision and ideas with the ski industry. We’re disrupting the way things have been for years and years, so we’ve really had to be persistent and positive in order to open minds and push progressive change.”
“I think those circumstances, matched with the mental drive, recovery and resilience we’ve all had to learn as athletes, have helped us stay focussed and navigate our way through the pandemic. We’ve done everything we can to stay positive, motivate our teams, think about new ways of doing things and continue to move forward with ambition. Aaron and Olly have both had to overcome serious injury, but we’ve all found ways to take positives from the experiences we’ve had and continue to work in and help evolve the industry we love, for the better.”
Independent instructor dedicated platform
Despite the pandemic, Maison Sport’s instructor doubled, and new disciplines in the sport have allowed the platform to stay active throughout, in both France and Switzerland. Resorts remained open in Switzerland and despite the lack of holiday makers, Maison Sport secured over double the number of bookings in Switzerland this winter vs last.
Fully dedicated to independent instructors, Maison Sport has proven to be a game changer for ski and snowboard instructors who can significantly increase their earnings using the platform. The marketplace has recently surpassed 23,000 hours of lessons taught and prides itself on the site’s 3,400+ individual instructor reviews left by over 70% of customers, placed on instructor’s profile after their lessons, over 90% of which are rated 5 stars.