27 January 2022 |

Driving the Future of Golf



In Tuesday’s newsletter, I highlighted Whoosh’s recent fundraising round. They’re a modern golf software company that I’m really pumped about.

I got the chance to catch up with Whoosh’s CEO, Colin Read, and Director of Marketing, Jenna Little, hours before they debuted their new app at the PGA Show. It made me realize that what Whoosh is doing to golf — and maybe even beyond — is massive, so I wanted to dive in and share with you. 

Driving the Future of Golf

The COVID pandemic drove tons of people outside — and onto golf courses, including me.

In 2020, golf rounds were up in total 14% year over year, and specifically for private clubs, rounds played were up nearly 20%. 

The two publicly traded golf behemoths, Acushnet and Callaway, are on fire from the rise of golf worldwide. In Q3 of 2021, Acushnet posted revenues of ~$522M representing a ~24% increase from 2020. 

Surprisingly, Acushnet and Callaway specifically have been PE’s best friend over the past few years — yeah, you read that right. Callaway alone has spent over ~$2.7B in acquisitions on four different companies since 2017, including their $2B acquisition of TopGolf (backed by two PE firms, West River Group and Dundan Capital Partners). 

Callaway also completed a $30M minority investment in Five Iron Golf — an emerging, PE backed, indoor golf and entertainment company offering social experiences around golf simulators. 

Thing is, golf is still pretty… low tech. Look around a clubhouse and you’ll see their “tech stacks” are sticky notes, an excel spreadsheet, and — if they’re really legit  — some walkie talkies. Plus,you usually have to call ahead to reserve a tee time vs. booking online. Was this what the 1990’s were like?!?!

This means the massive spike in demand has been overwhelming for clubhouses — until Whoosh came along.

What’s Whoosh?

Whoosh is a golf SaaS company on a mission to revolutionize every part of the clubhouse experience through a comprehensive, customizable, software platform for every private club in the world. 

The cloud-based product has all the features a clubhouse could ask for: tee time scheduling software, waitlists, caddie tracking, ability to reserve boxed lunches or lockers, consumer loyalty/practice analytics, and more. 

“Using our technology, processes that took 18 steps can now be done in only two clicks,” says Jenna Little, Whoosh’s Director of Marketing.

But Whoosh is building more than just a golf platform. 

Their tech can be flipped for other sports, especially the ones with archaic club infrastructures, like tennis and swimming. Whoosh has been laser focused on golf to date, but they’re already thinking about the industry agnostic opportunities awaiting them down the road.  

Whoosh’s scheduling and caddie assigning software

Whoosh’s Billion-Dollar Opportunity

There are 35K private clubhouses globally which amounts to $25B in annual business — but it could be even bigger. Clubs are losing ~$30k annually on average due to cost efficiencies and revenue leakage.

So, Whoosh jumped on the opportunity fast — really fast.

They wrote their first line of code in March 2021 and launched a beta in August with only a handful of partners and now are expecting to add 35-40 new clients by the end of Q1 this year. 

Whoosh announced a $6M seed round earlier this week backed by established investors like Craft Ventures. This round is giving them the resources they need to build off of their early successes and propel to new heights.

My take? VC’s are going to start pushing PE firms aside to become bigger players in the sports tech space — and companies like Whoosh will be huge beneficiaries of this trend.

If Whoosh keeps executing, they should expect a call from Callaway Golf. 

Want your company featured in the newsletter? Reply to this email and tell me what you’re building!


ARK Invest shared their Big Ideas 2022 report, and it is sweet. 

This is one of my favorite graphics where they share that one $BTC can reach over $1M by 2030.

Does anyone know if the are bullish on BTC? 😉

3 big ARK predictions that stuck out to me:

  1. One BTC will be worth $1.36M 
  2. Gold’s valuation will be cut in half
  3. 5% of cash of S&P 500 companies will be in BTC

If Cathie is right, all the founders working on BTC and Blockchain projects should be in for a nice payday.



What They Do: Crypto exchange

Amount Raised: $400M Series A

Lead Investors: Paradigm, Softbank, and Temasek

Why It Matters: 

FTX US is coming for Coinbase. 

With the big capital raise valued at $8B, the company has the firepower to fight to become the #1 crypto exchange in the U.S. This builds on FTX U.S’s strong momentum closing 2021 where they had 1.2M registered accounts and $67B in crypto transactions. 

Coinbase reported 73M+ global users and $327B in Q3 trading volume alone. Interestingly, the public markets are valuing the company at ~$50B. 

With these numbers in mind, and the fact that Coinbase has higher fees, this leads to an obvious question: Is FTX US overvalued… or is Coinbase undervalued? 

In my eyes, the FTX valuation is incredibly fair – it’s Coinbase that is looking cheap. 

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website

Business Age of Empires

What They Do: Play To Earn game 

Amount Raised: $3M Seed Round

Lead Investors: Grooo International and Meta Ultra Holdings

Why It Matters: 

“Play To Earn” means playing games on the blockchain and being rewarded, either with crypto or NFTs – and the opportunity is massive. 

Check out the market cap of the 4 biggest PTE games:

  • Decentraland: $3.99B 
  • Axie Infinity: $3.19B
  • The Sandbox: $2.89B
  • Gala: $1.46B

Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder of Reddit, predicts that Play To Earn will make up 90% of the gaming market in 5 years. 

I think Ohanian’s view is way too ambitious, but I am excited to see how games like Fortnite and Fifa look to turn in game rewards into rare NFTs. Enabling gamers to collect and monetize their virtual accomplishments will be huge. 

Prediction: Play To Earn will have a much bigger impact on the gaming industry than the impact of AR and VR.

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website


What They Do: Data driven sales management platform

Amount Raised: $20M Series A

Lead Investors: Craft Ventures

Why It Matters: 

Missed sales quotas account for nearly $3T in lost potential revenue annually. Atrium has built data driven software that aids sales managers in managing reps more effectively. 

Atrium is hot. Over the past 12 months the company has:

  • Added 200+ customers
  • 3x ARR
  • Achieved net promoter score of 75

There’s big competition from SalesForce and Apollo.io, who raised a $32M Series B in November, but Atrium’s strong, manager-first focus should allow the company to be a massive winner. 

Also, keep your eye on Craft Ventures. They’re also the lead investors behind Whoosh and a VC firm I follow closely. 


What They Do: Automated mobile app builder for e-commerce stores

Amount Raised: $8.5M 

Lead Investors: Five Elms Capital

Why It Matters: 

Vajro is  is the #1 rated and used mobile app builder on Shopify. Why is it so loved? It’s truly low code, which means it’s actually easy to use.

This funding round is right in line with a recent $7.5M pre-Series A from Upmesh, a company that helps Instagram live merchants with sales through analytics. 

The funding for e-commerce companies is just getting started. etail e-commerce is expected to grow from $768B in 2021 to $1,330B in 2025 – in the U.S alone. 

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website


What They Do: Suburban grocery delivery company

Amount Raised: $3M seed round

Lead Investors: Teslar

Why It Matters: 

Another grocery delivery company? Yes – well, sort of. 

EasyBins is doing a few things very differently:

  1. Focused on suburban markets with significant demand for grocery delivery 
  2. Deliveries at 2x a day– 6:00 AM & 5:00 PM
  3. No order minimum

With online grocery sale revenue expected to grow from $113B to $188B in 2024, there will be room for plenty of winners — specifically ones that can carve out a clear niche like EasyBins.

Will EasyBins become the next Instacart and pull off a $265M raise at a $39B valuation? We’ll have to wait and see as they expand (they’re currently only active in 5 communities).

But hey, I love the passion and confidence to go after

Learn More: Press Release & Company Website