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Edge leads £4m investment in Hoop

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Creative industries specialist Edge Investments has invested in a significant shareholding in Hoop.

The £4m Series A round was led by Edge and includes a further investment by the Business Growth Fund, following an earlier BGF Ventures-led round of £2.4m in 2017.

Hoop is marketplace which helps families find and book organised local activities for children, and the organisers of those activities to increase their profitability.

Edge’s investment will support Hoop’s plans to solidify market share in Britain, where it already has strong brand awareness, and position the Company for expansion in the US, where families are spending billions of dollars annually on children’s activities.

From local baby and toddler groups to swimming lessons, from drama classes to creative workshops, Hoop makes it easier to discover and book fun activities for families, enabling the predominantly smaller businesses which put on these activities to attract new customers, handle bookings and payments more efficiently and grow.

The Hoop app, voted the “Best App of the Year” by Apple in both 2016 and 2017, has been downloaded over 750,000 times, with a rapid increase in uptake throughout 2017.

Edge CEO David Glick said: “We are delighted to support Hoop as it enters the next phase of its journey. Daniel Bower and his team have created a business which is positioned at the sweet spot of trends Edge has previously identified and targeted, shaping the consumption and entrepreneurial habits of millennials.

I have great expectations for this talented team, its proven execution capabilities and in Hoop’s compelling plans to educate and entertain children.”

Edge Investment Manager Niall Santamaria added: “As the children’s activity sector is still highly fragmented, it is extremely difficult for parents to find and book the activities they want for their children, so there is great demand for an aggregator with strong brand awareness like Hoop.

Hoop delivers exactly this kind of convenience for finding and marketing kids activities and it is expanding throughout the UK at a remarkable rate. We look forward to supporting Hoop as it continues to expand in the UK and abroad.”

Hoop CEO Daniel Bower said: “Through the tools we build and the connections we make, our mission is to inspire, educate and entertain children out of the home. Edge Investments wholeheartedly supports our goals and sees the potential in Hoop to help the thousands of creative businesses driving our industry.

“This new round of investment will allow us to rapidly scale our operations at Hoop, enabling us to build a world class tool for organisers to reach new audiences, and continue improving the way we help families discover what’s on for their kids.”

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