Two Cambridge grads and a MoneySupermarket veteran raise £1 million to build the Airbnb of marathons – Business Insider
LONDON — An online sports listing startup has raised £1 million
from a raft to tech, banking, and sporting figures to build the
“Airbnb of endurance events” like triathlon and marathon.
Let’s Do This, founded 13 months ago, secured the seed funding in
June but it has not yet been publically disclosed. The
London-based startup raised money from:
- Mike Miller: The CEO of the World Olympians
Association and the former head of BBC Sport and sport at
- Brian Schuring: The founder of US venture
capital fund Rubicon and founder of London workout startup
- Jonathan Goodwin: The cofounder of Founders
Forum, head of Lepe Partners, and the man called “one
of London’s best-connected media dealmakers.”
- Richard Oldfield: The founder of $4 billion
wealth manager Oldfield Partners.
- Peter Yunghanns: A renown Australian activist
investor who is a patron of polo in Australia.
- Paddy Dear: The cofounder of UK hedge fund
Let’s Do This was founded by two recent Cambridge graduates — Sam
Browne and Alex Rose — and Neil Locke, the former head of
technology at MoneySupermarket.com. The startup is building a
listings platform that lets people find endurance sports events —
running, cycling, and swimming competitions covering distances
anywhere from 1km to 800kms.
CEO Browne, 25, says: “There are now about 1.5 million endurance
races globally that exist in a massively disorganised and
fragmented mess. Let’s Do This is here to organise all these
events into one comparison site and allow, through extensive
personalisation, athletes to find their perfect race.”
Browne told Business Insider that the company already has 35,000
regularly returning users and is growing at a rate of 150% each
month. Let’s Do This currently has 15,000 races on its platform
and is adding a further 30,000 this month alone.
The global endurance sports market is estimated to be worth $13
billion and the growing popularity of fitness and sport has
helped propel companies like Under Armour and Lululemon, and
events like Iron Man and Tough Mudder, to success in recent
Browne is a fitness fan himself — he’s run eight ultra marathons,
which are distances over 26.2 miles — and had the idea for Let’s
Do This after being frustrated trying to find events to enter.
“We think endurance athletes are massively underserved,” Browne
says. “Let’s Do This will make it as easy and enjoyable to book
your next race as Airbnb does to find your accommodation.”
‘Most of the ideas in our product roadmap came while we were out
To that end, Browne says that “having completed a marathon or
equivalent is a basic requirement to work here.”
“One of our devs, Caroline, was the only person not to have raced
to a pretty high level before joining,” he told Business Insider.
“Six months in she’s now completed a triathlon, a marathon, and
is gearing up to race the Saltmarsh 75, which is a fairly savage
75-mile trail ultra marathon.”
Browne is so committed to this sporting ethos that he sent a team
member to India to go running with the startup’s data enrichment
team out there. Let’s Do This also promised its UK team a trip to
watch the Tour de France if they could hit their targets.
“We did a couple of especially intense sprints leading up to it
with that as a carrot at the end,” Browne says. “We spent a day
watching the Tour de France, and then mixed workshops in-between
road biking, mountain biking, swimming, and trail running. Most
of the ideas in our product roadmap came while we were out
75% of Let’s Do This’ current events are running-based but the
startup hopes to branch out to more events and sports as it
The startup also plans to pitch tailored events to athletes on
the platform. Around 30% of current users connect their Strava
accounts — a sports tracking app — to Let’s Do This, which allows
the company to tailor listings based on their speed, past races,
and other data.
Despite its early stage, Let’s Do This has already caught the
attention of companies like Adidas and Rapha, Browne says, and is
working with both on promotional activity.