Tech Pitch: MyLocalPitch
To celebrate London Tech Week, we shine a light on the Holborn start-up making it easier for grassroots sports players to find and book sports venues
Company name: MyLocalPitch
Founders: Jamie Foale (31) and Sandford Loudon (31)
Background: Foale and Loudon are serial entrepreneurs having previously ran businesses in media, fine art, and car sharing.
Based in: London, Holborn
Launched: January 2014
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
- MyLocalPitch is the market leading online sports booking portal, enabling the search of over 9,000 sports facilities and sports venues.
- Alongside the website offering, there is a free iOS app to cater for bookings on-the-move.
- We are focused on simplifying the booking process, maximising revenues of sports venues and increasing sports participation by making it easier to play sport.
- The service is available for players and facilities in London, Manchester and Dublin.
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
Finding and booking sports venues used to be a painful process. It was difficult to get hold of the right person, check availability or secure a regular booking as there wasn’t a simple platform containing all the grassroots information. From our own experience, we would have to call five different numbers – and often wouldn’t get a booking.
Our philosophy was to use technology to erase the sources of inconvenience and delays that irritate grassroots players.
Aggregation and booking technology has been around for a while and is widely used in the accommodation, takeaway and travel industries. Yet there was extremely limited use of this technology for grassroots sports despite sports players being one of the most likely demographic to use technology to search and book activities online.
In some cases, sports venues lack the knowledge or resources to implement this technology and market their facilities. In these instances, MyLocalPitch provides bookings management software to help venues migrate online. MyLocalPitch launched to enable people to simply search and book sports venues online or through an app.
The service is having a positive effect on grassroots sports venues by increasing bookings and, in turn, revenues. Harnessing technological advancements unlocks the grassroots world for an audience which found the previous process fragmented and sometimes inconvenient.
Are you funded?
We started MyLocalPitch by raising our Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) round from a group of angel investors who have been hugely helpful throughout our journey, and we have raised further rounds under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).
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Our investors include an ex-chairman of The Football Association (FA) and CEOs and founders of FTSE 100 companies. We have sourced our investors by looking for people with experience in expanding services in the public sector, or who have been able to provide experience in building tech companies.
What were you doing before starting?
Foale: “Myself and Loudon both worked within the tech industry before setting up MyLocalPitch.
“While at Leeds University I launched and ran the Leeds Agenda. It focused on providing a directory for university based activities and details about the campus, which sold advertising to businesses in the area.
“Loudon co-founded a car-sharing platform, Grallo, and is now in the corporate finance trade having worked at Merrill Lynch.”
What’s the best thing about where you’re based?
As a result of London’s thriving start-up scene, you can pick from the best talent from around the world.
London is one of the top career destinations in the world and that has helped bring together a highly skilled software engineer talent base, and we hope that this talent pool remains after the UK leaves the European Union.