Catapult Makes Further Investment into Kick Sport

Author

UK Business Angels Association

25 May 2013

Kick Sport Ltd, one of the UK’s leading online martial arts retailers, has received a £250k cash injection to help develop and launch a subsidiary business called Umkiki, which will create partnerships with martial arts clubs and associations.

The latest funding round has been financed by the Midlands-based Catapult Growth Fund. Catapult Investment Director Ed Wass comments: “The original Kick Sport business model was that of a web retailer servicing the martial arts market and looking towards the online acquisition of retail end users to build up a loyal customer base. This side of the business is still growing both in the UK and internationally.

“The Peterborough-based business is now ready for its next phase of expansion and has created a white labeled’ version of the Kick Sport website which will enable martial arts clubs and associations to benefit from sales made directly to their members. Ultimately, Umkiki will also be applicable to a range of other sports and leisure activities such as: dance clubs and studios, horse riding centres, as well as gym, pilates and yoga instructors.”

Kick Sport’s Executive Chairman is James Rolfe, a 5th degree Black Belt in Taekwondo who has successfully competed at a national and international level. His in-depth knowledge of the market, and extensive network of contacts, has made a real impact in developing the strategy for the business since he joined in 2012.

Commenting on the future of the company James Rolfe said: “We are very excited about the next phase of growth that the business is about to embark upon with the ongoing support of our investors. We believe the Umkiki business model will be very attractive to our potential partners because they will be able to run their own web-shop linked to Umkiki, but customized to reflect their own site. Sports clubs, instructors and associations will receive commission on all sales, without any of the associated problems and risks of running an e-retail business with money ‘tied-up’ in stock, shipping and processing issues, as well as order processing and returns.”

Ed Wass concluded: “James’s entrepreneurial spirit has seen him successfully develop a number of companies and he understands the challenges that face small, early stage businesses. Further expansion is a natural progression for Kick Sport and Umkiki provides the vehicle to do just that.”

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