GOLF

GolfLAN, a New Dehli-based marketplace for golfers, announced yesterday it has raised a US$1 million investment round from a duo of existing investors, YourNest Angel Fund and an African IT group named iSON.

The company plans to use the funds for international expansion, with the company targetting a wide range of regions — Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In Southeast Asia, GolfLAN pinpointed Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam as markets of choice.

The platform is a cloud-based marketplace that allows anyone with internet access to book tee times for a round, buy equipment and find trainers. The company claims to have 20,000 users and saw a 400 per cent revenue boost over the last 18 months.

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The company is banking on the growing popularity of golf as the regional economies continue to improve and more people can take up a fairly expensive sport. In India, for example, the amount of golfers has grown from 30,000 people in 2010 to 200,000 enthusiasts in 2016.

“Golf is rapidly moving into mainstream and is shedding its status as a sport that is the forte of the ‘rich’ or ‘elite’. As more players aspire to learn and play golf, we are witnessing a proliferation of golf courses across countries in the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa, apart from India, signalling a dizzying growth for the sport,” said Dhruv Verma the CEO of GolfLAN in a statement.

“This sparked the need for an aggregation platform that brings all stakeholders under one roof and thus GolfLAN came about. Our growth in the last 3 years validates this,” he added.

In July of 2016, GolfLAN purchased a Dubai-based company named StayPrime for US$1 million. The company builds technology for the golf industry.

YourNest is an early stage VC fund established in 2011. It targets tech startups in the areas of IoT, electronic system design, AI, advanced robotics, enterprise software and mobile companies. It plans to invest in 25-30 companies over a four year period and already has 16 companies in its portfolio.

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iSON is a Nigerian company that has grown into one of the largest IT firms in Africa. It has a presence in 25 countries across Africa, the Middle East and ASEAN.

GolfLAN was founded in 2015.


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