Having raised £400,000, Much Better Adventures will now become “the first road cycling holiday marketplace,” says co-founder Sam Bruce.
Built in partnership with fellow cyclist Alex Narracott and Guy Bowden, the company is looking to make it easier for cyclists to shop around for the best deals experiences like supported tours, sportives, special events and bike-friendly accommodation.
Bruce says “The cycling holidays market is a multi-billion pound space with over 25 million overnight trips taken each year in the EU alone, but much like the rest of the active holiday industry, it’s still incredibly fragmented and poorly served by existing online platforms. We’ve spoken with a lot of cycling groups and found a clear demand for a service that makes it simpler to discover and book more unique cycling experiences abroad”.
The firm’s existing ski business has already won Trust Pilot’s ‘best travel aggregator’ award with its 96% positive rating.
Further investment comes from early-stage investor, Seedcamp, alongside travel operators using the platform and angel investors including Simon Lambert (ex-Lastminute.com, Treatwell – formerly Wahanda), Fred Ahlberg (ex-Ebay and King), Brett Akker (founder of Lovespace, Streetcar, ex-Zipcar) and James Kent (ex-Google). The London’s Co-investment Fund, backed by the Mayor, also participated in the round.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London Added: “London’s tech and science sector is flourishing and the city is a hotbed of talented and ambitious people buzzing with exciting ideas who are setting up new companies in their droves. I am delighted that the London Co-Investment Fund is helping companies like Much Better Adventures to make their ideas a reality and deliver jobs and growth for the capital.”
Much Better Adventures began by featuring the best independent skier-run chalets in Europe, generating 50,000 overnight bookings. The platform allows experience-hungry and time-poor adventure travellers to easily discover, compare, book and review holidays with the best local and independent hosts, guides and tour operators on the planet.
Bruce adds: “For us, this is about creating a platform that empowers those passionate bike-mad entrepreneurs to make a good living doing what they love – running awesome companies, riding their bikes and sharing their favourite spots with guests”.
By the end of the year, the team aim to offer full global coverage for cycling holidays.