Edge Investments leads £4m investment in kids’ activities marketplace Hoop

  • Hoop is a marketplace which helps families find and book organised local activities for kids, such as classes or workshops
  • Lists over 70,000 events and activities for kids each month
  • Voted one of the best apps of the year by Apple since launching in 2016, downloaded over 750,000 times
  • Rapidly expanding throughout the UK and benefiting from the growing trend for millennials to spend more money on experiences than products

 

21 May 2018, London: Leading creative industries specialist, Edge Investments (‘Edge’), is pleased to announce it has invested in a significant shareholding in Hoop (the “Company’), a fast-growing marketplace which helps families find and book organised local activities for children and the organisers of those activities to increase their profitability.

From local baby and toddler groups to swimming lessons, from drama classes to creative workshops, Hoop makes it easy to discover and book fun activities for families, enabling the predominantly smaller businesses which put on these activities to attract new customers, handle bookings and payments more efficiently and grow.

The £4m Series A round was led by Edge and includes a further investment by the Business Growth Fund, following an earlier BGF Ventures-led round of £2.4m in 2017

This marks Edge’s fifth investment since the inception of Edge Creative Enterprise Fund, launched at the end of 2015.

By providing a convenient, localised resource for both finding and marketing children’s activities, Hoop is perfectly positioned to serve today’s ‘late millennials’ who typically have children aged 11 and under. By addressing this demographic, Hoop is able to take advantage of two rapidly growing trends which millennials are increasingly exposed to: the shift in consumption from possessions to personal experiences reflected in increased spending on family activities; and the increasing prevalence of smaller entrepreneurial ventures, many run in their founders’ “spare time”, and which are driving a new generation of exciting family leisure opportunities.

Hoop delivers a mobile-first marketplace that effectively addresses the changing lifestyles of both parents and organisers. As parents increasingly attend these family activities, they seek the convenience of a single place to find and book them. Equally, this new generation of children’s activity organisers want access to the engaged audience that Hoop provides. Edge believes Hoop’s prospects are strong as it meets the needs of both groups.

The Hoop app, voted the “Best App of the Year” by Apple in both 2016 and 2017, has been downloaded over 750,000 times, with a rapid increase in uptake throughout 2017.

Edge’s investment will support Hoop’s plans to solidify market share in Britain, where it already has strong brand awareness, and position the Company for expansion in the US, where families are spending billions of dollars annually on children’s activities.

The Company was identified by Edge for its exceptional management team, market-leading position and significant overseas growth prospects.  Edge’s investment was led by investment manager Niall Santamaria, who will join the Hoop board.

Edge CEO David Glick, said:

“We are delighted to support Hoop as it enters the next phase of its journey. Daniel Bower and his team have created a business which is positioned at the sweet spot of trends Edge has previously identified and targeted, shaping the consumption and entrepreneurial habits of millennials.

I have great expectations for this talented team, its proven execution capabilities and in Hoop’s compelling plans to educate and entertain children.”

Edge Investment Manager Niall Santamaria, added:

“As the children’s activity sector is still highly fragmented, it is extremely difficult for parents to find and book the activities they want for their children, so there is great demand for an aggregator with strong brand awareness like Hoop.

Hoop delivers exactly this kind of convenience for finding and marketing kids activities and it is expanding throughout the UK at a remarkable rate. We look forward to supporting Hoop as it continues to expand in the UK and abroad.”

Hoop CEO Daniel Bower said:

“Through the tools we build and the connections we make, our mission is to inspire, educate and entertain children out of the home. Edge Investments wholeheartedly supports our goals and sees the potential in Hoop to help the thousands of creative businesses driving our industry.

This new round of investment will allow us to rapidly scale our operations at Hoop, enabling us to build a world class tool for organisers to reach new audiences, and continue improving the way we help families discover what’s on for their kids.”

Start typing and press Enter to search