Delhi-based BookMySports, a sport booking portal, is in talks with venture capital firms to raise around $5 million, said a senior executive of the startup.
BookMySports (BMS) allows users to book sports facilities or create their own sports tournaments in a facility of their choice. In India, where outdoor sports is not a part of the average urban lifestyle due to lack of proper facilities from the school level, the site will help bring players together. It also aims to help drive demand for the industry through better management of supply and demand, and introduce more transparency in the pricing and service delivery for users.
“There might be grounds near you which you do not know about,” said Akanksha Saxena, co-founder and deputy chief executive, BMS. She said that the site will shortly have a ‘match module’ which would enable users to find other players and form teams. “We are aiming at increasing the capacity utilisation of sports facilities across cities by connecting sports lovers to them through our online platform.”
The startup is privately funded, and is in talks to raise between $3.7 million and $5 million. “We will need the funding so that we can implement our plans of expanding in other cities of India, as well as to international locations.” said Sameer Thapa, chief executive, BMS. The Indian sports market is estimated to be worth $1 billion, including sponsorships, endorsements and media rights.
Currently the site is present in Delhi — where users can choose from over 350 facilities — and Bangalore. BMS plans to expand to four more cities and to at least one location outside India by March.It offers users the choice to book facilities in sports such as cricket, football, aerobics, swimming, volleyball, tennis and basketball. 60 per cent of India’s population is between the ages of 14-35 years, and would be the main target audience of BMS.
Sports facilities in several cities lie un-utilised outside of major sports events because rules for average players to use them are not clearly mentioned. Such sites will now be available through the site. A map will allow users to check for facilities that are nearest to where they stay.