I caught up with Phil Sears, founder of Sportive Breaks which launched 2015, selling sportive entries and the best cycle-friendly hotels for events such as the Etape du Tour and Paris-Roubaix sportive.
What does your Sportive Breaks do?
Sportive Breaks creates dream cycling holidays to the top destinations & events in Europe.
What made you start your company - was it a personal passion, or a problem you identified, or a market opportunity?
Largely trying to overcome the problems that come up time and time again with trying to arrange a cycling holiday - finding a bike friendly hotel, understanding the best places to ride and dealing with the painful stuff like finding a good local bike rental company or getting your bike from the airport.
What funding have you received so far?
We started in year one with £60k from a couple of early Angel investors and then raised a further £130k last year.
How did you find your investors, and were they angels or VCs?
We started with friends and then used their networks in the next round.
Do you think your investors invested in the idea, the product, the founders, or the team?
The market was so under served and we had a different solution to our competitors which was easy to understand. Ultimately, at our stage everyone is investing based on the people first and the opportunity second.
Any advice for the perfect pitch deck?
Don't get stuck in the detail, your investors just need to know your solution works. Tell them the story of you, the market and how your solution can grow in this market.
What was the hardest thing about doing your funding round?
Spending time on the deck, the meetings etc while keeping on top of the daily activity in the business.
If there were three things you could tell a founder looking to do their round, what would they be?
The process is both ways, you need to be happy with the investors as much as they need to be happy with you. Be clear and set realistic expectations. Set a clear channel of communication that works for everyone - a good investor / director can be worth their weight in gold.
How did you hear about SeedLegals, and how was your experience?
Through one of our original Angels. It was so easy, our previous experience was slow and expensive, SeedLegals could do things in a day that took a week in our first round.
What's next on the horizon for Sportive Breaks?
We are launching a new tool to allow people to find and book amazing custom cycling trips online, this will be the first in the market and we are pretty excited to roll this out to our customers.