A Dundee-based tech firm has launched an €800,000 crowdfunding campaign to increase its city staff.
Zest.Golf Technologies, based at the Flour Mill, has developed software that gives travel companies access to golf clubs’ tee times.
It means tourism firms no longer need to contact golf clubs with each request from their customers and gives the clubs access to more sales channels.
Since the company launched last year, it has signed up more than 120 golf courses in five countries. It also has 25 travel companies registered.
Zest gives free access to its platform but takes a commission from each booking.
Commercial director Oliver Dury said: “At the moment if you are a travel provider you have to manage most of your business offline as customers can’t book tee times at golf courses.
“It’s up to a customer to fill out a form to say they are interested in a certain club between certain dates or a certain destination.
“Then someone at the travel company has to look into the availability manually with emails or phone calls which is hugely time consuming.
“It means companies lose a lot of business because they are relying on getting information back from the golf courses, which doesn’t happen straight away. It might be a customer in a different time zone.
“We are trying to create a global hub for the tee times industry so different travel providers in different markets can access that inventory of times directly in real time.”
Currently the software for the platform has been developed in Rotterdam, Holland, with a small team in Dundee selling the technology to travel firms and golf courses.
Zest has just launched a crowdfunding campaign through Seedrs to raise €790,003 in exchange for a 16.99% stake in the company, giving it a valuation of €4.65 million. More than two-thirds of the total has already been raised.
Mr Dury said the majority of the investment will be put into the Dundee operation.
“We are looking to recruit as we already have a lot of commercial traction,” he said.
“We have recently signed up Golf Spain which is the main provider of golf software in that country.
“We need more people to support the opportunities we have. Ideally we’d like to get up to 30 to 40 people over the next three to four years.
“Our ambition is to really help golf courses in Scotland sell their tee times to a global marketplace. Clubs are looking at ways to derive revenue as memberships are in decline.
“Scotland is a global destination for golf and they need to know how to best capture that audience.
“We are focused on European markets at the markets but we want this to be a global business.”