A team from Dnipro, a city of Central Ukraine formerly known as Dnipropetrovsk, has created “first global booking platform for sport facilities and sport teams.”
Dubbed Smartsport, the platform covers a variety of disciplines (including swimming, water polo, weightlifting, gymnastics, martial arts, tennis, and football), with 500 sport facilities made available in almost 20 countries, mostly in Europe.
Presenting itself as a one-stop-shop service, the site allows sportsmen to book sport facilities, hotels and transportation for groups of sportsmen. It claims to even save “up to 40%” on standard rates.
“Our service has no analogues in the world so far,” the startup’s COO Artem Nefedov told Ukraine Digital News.
“We do have competitors, but they use old-school solutions. They operate as local travel agencies covering only one kind of sport. Importantly, none of them offers a block booking option [unlike Smartsport],” he added.
Launched by two Ukrainian entrepreneurs with background in sports — Ilya Popov, CEO, and Nefedov — this past autumn, the startup employs 20 people as a core team in Ukraine.
Its turnover amounted to almost €226,000 in the past two months, with nearly 70 deals closed monthly, Nefedov told Ukraine Digital News.
Smartsport aims to reach the €2 million turnover mark by the end of this year.
A further target would be to reach €60 million in annual turnover, when the company will expand to new geographies — in particular, the US and Asian markets.
Developing a startup does not go with difficulties, however, concedes Nefedov.
“It’s extremely difficult to find the required specialists in our city, and those from Kyiv are reluctant to move here,” he says.
The company was valued at €1 million in October 2016 while raising its first €70,000 pre-seed investment round from business angel Denis Borisovsky, founder at Poland-based software company PFSOFT.
Another entrepreneur, Vlad Chubuk, who heads Ukrainian IT company V-Jet group, provided technical investment by becoming Smartsport’s CTO.
Smartsport is now considering to raise a new round of funding, Nefedov said.