Vertical online platform for ski activities Huaxue Zhushou (ski assistant in Chinese) announced it raised RMB12 million (approx: US$1.88 million) in an angel investment that has LETV Sports as lead investor. Legend Star and The Arena Capital also took part.
Huaxue Zhushou and Free Ski Zone make an O2O ski service
Huaxue Zhushou platform is unique as it is affiliated with offline ski gear brand Free Ski Zone, which has 10 brick-and-mortar stores and serves as natural channels to attract customers. Free Ski Zone is the largest ski gear chain store in China with tens of thousands of loyalty members.
Huaxue Zhushou was launched this year. Its cofounder Xiaoyuan Wang said the platform aims to provide users with a variety of ski-related content, including information, transactions, ski gear, a community and training videos. Some of its functions will also be linked with its offline ski gear stores, and he expects that the Huaxue Zhushou app will be online by the end of October.
Mr. Wang is a mountain climbing and skiing enthusiast who has worked in the product development and content management departments at online media Ifeng.com, Baidu and Cheetah Mobile. His partner and cofounder Feiyu Long is the founder of Free Ski Zone and has eight years of experience in the ski gear retail business.
Huaxue Zhushou’s advantage lies in having a core team that has extensive experience in both mobile online and offline resources. It remains to be seen however if Free Ski Zone, a store that only targets skiers, will be able to maintain growth in domestic sales, as the ski users are relatively in small number in China, or if they will hit a ceiling in growth in the future.(Translation by David)