French outdoor sports e-tailer Hardloop raises €3 million
French outdoor sports e-tailer Hardloop has reached a new milestone. After moving its headquarters to Annecy, Hardloop, which specialises in selling apparel and equipment for outdoor sports and activities, has raised fresh capital worth €3 million in January 2022. The company, founded in 2015 by Julien Jeremie and Guillaume Richard, carried out a new funding round with its partners Sport & Performance Capital (the sport tech investment fund operated by Seventure Partners), SGPA and a pool of business angels. Hardloop took advantage of the operation to add Banque Palatine and LCL Alpes to its credit partners alongside the Société Générale bank, and also announced that some of the employees who have been with Hardloop since its inception have been allowed to buy a stake in the company.
“We are convinced that a more equitable sharing of the value [Hardloop] creates is necessary to build a company that performs sustainably,” said Jeremie about this approach, which might be extended to all employees. “We are fortunate to have a team that is highly committed and determined to build a European leader in outdoor sports. It is only natural that they benefit from the fruits of this collective endeavour,” he added.
The French retail market for outdoor sport apparel and equipment is highly competitive, with players like Ekosport and Snowleader taking up strong positions, and the new funding round ought to enable Hardloop to invest in new services, notably boosting its analytical capabilities in terms of consumer data and feed-back. Hardloop is also aiming to provide the kind of quick and easy access to products expected by its customers.
“Among the changes that will be made to our e-tail site, enhanced customisation, better browsing, ease of searching, merchandising tools for brands and an augmented mobile experience are among the priorities,” said Richard.
Hardloop is keen to differentiate itself on the market by boosting its service offering, notably by developing user guides and product tests for its customers, as well as by focusing on products that are more environmentally and socially responsible. Hardloop, which claims to have some 350,000 customers and 1 million monthly site visitors, indicated that the share of sales by the more sustainable products in its range has increased from 10% to 32%.
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