GOLFBOO is the search engine designed for the golf enthusiast. It is an online golf community providing direct access to the best prices and rating system of golf packages, tee times, hotels and real estate properties. Currently GOLFBOO features the mentioned listings across the whole of Europe and is on the course to fulfill its growth strategy of launching and being the first in its market in Asia in 2015 and in North America in 2016.

KITE Invest: Please comment on the origins of GOLFBOO and the path taken to where GOLFBOO finds itself today. 

Fabio Peral: Online, the golf industry is at least a decade behind other industries, for example the airline or the hotel industry. In those 2 industries alone, there exists universal, international platforms showing availability and price in real time. Examples would be Skyscanner, E-Dreams, Booking.com, Trip Advisor or Trivago. This didn’t exist in the golf industry, until now.

GOLFBOO.com was designed and created to bring just this type of platform to the world of golf.

Today we are EMEA wide, and have 4 product lines; Tee Times, Golf Packages, Golf Hotels and Golf Real Estate.

We are first to market in EMEA with this type of product and are now looking for Stage 2 investment to expand and be first to market with this product in Asia and the US.

Our objective is to be the first truly global .com in the golf industry, controlling and dominating the online golf travel market worldwide.  

KITE: What have been some of the defining milestones, as well as, challenges? 

FP: We created the company in January 2013. We launched V.1 in June 2013 (Golf Packages). V.2 in Jan 2014 (Tee Times and Golf Hotels) and V.3 in June 2014 (Golf Real Estate and new design).

The challenges have been numerous. Given the fact that golf is still a very traditional industry, we are pioneers in a way, attempting to automate the golf industry and finally bring it into the 21st century!

KITE: GOLFBOO provides golfers with the ability to golf with greater ease, as well as, golf-based vacations. How you estimate and forecast GOLFBOO’s online user growth?

We currently receive over 40,000 unique visits per month from all over EMEA, predominantly from the UK, Germany, and Sweden. Our user database is now over 8,000 and growing each month. The following figures are EMEA only and based on year 1 results.

June 2013 – 15,000 total visits per month

June 2014 – 40,000 total visits per month

= 166% increase in 1st year

- Total Market Share – @ 6.5%

- User database – 7,577

2014 / 2015 – 200% increase – 120,000 total visits per month

- Total Market Share – @ 19.7%

- Projected user database new -  28,800

- Projected user database total -  36,377

3 Years – 250% increase – 420,000 total visits per month

- Total Market Share – @ 39.5%

- Projected user database -  100,800

- Projected user database total -  137,177

5 Years – 50% increase – 630,000 total visits per month

- Total Market Share – @ 59.3%

- Projected user database new -  151,200

- Projected user database total -  288,377

KITE: How does GOLFBOO intend to communicate to and reach future users, especially those whom are not as Internet savvy, as may be found with a large portion of golfers?

FP: Our marketing strategy is 75% online, as that is our key target market, including:

- Targeted Google Ad words campaign
- Software integrations (widgets & iFrames) on major international golf platforms:  
www.golf.de,  
www.lequipe.fr
,  www.golfmonthly.co.uk

Online advertising and banner campaigns

- Communications and presence in golf media and platforms
- Strategic SEO strategy
- Creative social media promotions

And for the 25% offline in the form of;

- Large presence in the corporate village of international golf tournaments
- Hot air balloon and airplane @ The Open
- Golfboo tournaments within golf clubs

For those golfers not online however, we do also have an offline strategy, which includes the presence at international golf tournaments in the form of tents in the corporate village. At The Open this year, we had a plane and a hot air balloon, which certainly caught the eye.

Next year we also plan to host GOLFBOO tournaments to “get to’’ the golfers within the clubs.

KITE: What has been the response from golf courses and real estate agencies towards GOLFBOO? Have they experienced an increase in tee times booked, golf packages bought and golf properties sold?

FP: Extremely positive. We currently have over 8,600 golf courses on our database, and this number is growing.

Regarding Real Estate, we are the only website in the world to specialise in golf related property only, so the response and interest has been huge.

Numerous tour operators have seen good quality traffic, with a high conversion rate.

KITE: GOFLBOO is currently seeking investment for its second round of funding to help take the company global. What are some of the specific aspects that GOLFBOO seeks out in an investor? And, what does GOLFBOO offer investors in terms of return on investment, stakeholder and payback?

FP: GOLFBOO.com is now seeking an investor with the right digital expertise and capabilities to develop GOLFBOO.com’s global expansion plan.

For this strategy to be successfully implemented and executed over the next 3 years, GOLFBOO.com requires the investment of €1.8 million, in return for a majority shareholding in the business

Our objective is to be the first truly global .com in the golf industry controlling and dominating the online golf travel market worldwide.

KITE: What would you say are the top three characteristics / qualities needed for a startup company to exceed?

FP: Ambition, hard work and willingness to learn.