VCCircle | 17 March, 2015

Delhi-based Golflan Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs a subscription-based service for golfers to book tee times through GolfLAN without club membership, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from early-stage investor YourNest Angel Fund, a company executive told VCCircle.

The money will be spent on technology and marketing besides geographical expansion.

Founded in March 2013 by Dhruv Verma, the company offers subscription services to play the sport across several golf courses throughout the globe without having a membership in the respective club. It also offers a marketplace for golf equipment which contributes to over 18 per cent of the company’s business. For the e-commerce vertical, it has 11 third-party vendors on board.

Before starting the company, Verma was heading the sales support function for telecom firm Aircel. After completing his MBA in marketing from Symbiosis International University, Pune, he had worked in sales support and training wings of CPP Group and Standard Chartered Bank.

The tee-time booking service was started last month. In a tiered membership-based programme, the firm offers a number of games in a particular category of golf courses. The subscription fee starts from Rs 11,000 and goes up to Rs 3.5 lakh.

“Golf comes across as a sport for people who have spending power. In the Indian market, there is a gap—people have disposable income, but not enough avenues for a sport like this,” Verma said.

According to Verma, the company’s business model involves buying tee-time slots of golf courses in bulk and then selling individual packages to its members depending on their requirements.

He says the firm offers golf courses across 20 countries, including the UK, Thailand, China, Turkey and the Middle East.

Before launching this service, the company had been offering a software solution for golf courses to assist in digitising their booking systems.

This business fetched the company revenues of Rs 1.34 crore in the year ended March 31, 2014. This is expected to go up to Rs 3 crore during the financial year ending March 2015. With the launch of the new service, the company is targeting revenues of Rs 15 crore for 2015-16.

It has tie-ups with banks and corporates such as Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Indian Oil, MetLife and Skoda which allows their employees to use its services.

“GolfLAN’s aim is to democratise golf which has been a game for a few. It aims at providing convenience to consumers through an online network,” said Sunil Goyal, founder and CEO of YourNest.

The company is in talks to hire a chief technology officer, who has been associated with a leading e-commerce company, according to Verma. This would help the venture scale up its web presence both for its e-store and the online tee-time booking service.