Akewatu: the marketplace that surfs the responsible wave
Updated on 8 October 2020 – Akewatu is the initiative of Nicolas, Julien and Franck, lovers of snow sports. Their ambition? Create a community platform on which enthusiasts can learn, share and equip themselves for their sports getaways. More than just a website, the start-up based in Cap-Ferret is also a responsible approach that seeks to offer quality professional equipment, at fair prices. An ambitious project in a society where the business model tends to overconsumption.
A promising start for Akewatu
Last August, the start-up already had eleven employees and three trainees, not to mention the three founders. This is very encouraging, highlighting the dynamism of the structure and its promising growth. At present, the platform that connects sellers and buyers, professionals and individuals has 40,000 members. An active community united by the same passion: sliding sports.
Akewatu’s success can be explained by its growing network. Indeed, the brand has more than 200 partnerships with surf, snowboard and ski shops. Spread throughout France, these professionals systematically carry out an extensive check of the boards before shipping. In addition, the ads put online are moderated daily by the start-up’s teams. Among the products available on the brand’s website are surfboards, skis, snowboards, kites and mountain bikes. Since its creation in 2016, the site has managed to sell no less than 1300 boards. Encouraging figures that suggest that the platform still has a bright future ahead of it.
In addition, the founders of the start-up managed to raise 1 million euros from private business angels represented by Didier Kuhn, Marc de Beffort, Henrique Fernandes, and Stéphane Enten. A considerable sum that will allow them to establish themselves in the English market, but also to create an application and diversify their catalog. Akewatu’s boss, Julien Martel,’s ambition would eventually be to conquer European markets, with the aim of becoming one of the largest surf and shaper networks. A very ambitious project that would launch the start-up to conquer Europe in record time.
A platform that invites responsible consumption
If Akewatu means “next session” in the Maori language, it is no coincidence. Indeed, the founders of the brand are all very attached to the values of Polynesian culture. For them, Akewatu should not be thought of as a simple “e-shop” but rather as a sharing platform that promotes the exchange and sharing of information. The approach also aims to encourage responsible consumption, through the sale of new products, but also second-hand products. Thus, fans of snow sports have the opportunity to recycle their equipment via the Akewatu platform, and offer it several lives.
Through the “Board Diary” tab
available on the website, Akewatu improvises as a content torchbearer. In this way, the platform publishes daily tutorials and advice written by professionals in the sector. This is in order to establish a dynamic of sharing and exchange.
Like some brands such as La Camif, the Envie network or Maisons du Monde, Akewatu mobilized against the Black Friday phenomenon by offering its 50,000 members to go surfing or skiing on November 23rd. The employees of the platform had also set an example by meeting on the beach of Cape Ferret for a surf session. The purpose of this action? Tackling overconsumption and raising community awareness of a way of life that is more respectful of environmental issues.
New Aquitaine: a destination of choice for gliding enthusiasts
New Aquitaine is proving to be a popular region for snow and thrills enthusiasts. Elected 1st European region and 3rd pole in the world of the gliding industry as early as 2014, the region seems to attract sportsmen from all over France. One could explain this enthusiasm for the Southwest by the plurality of its landscapes. Indeed, the territory has many assets including its proximity to the ocean and the skiables of the Pyrenees. These are factors that support the economic growth of the sector. However, sliding sports are evolving and offering new experiences, which requires making them known. They represent a significant part of the activity in the region, driven in particular by surf schools. The latter, present along beaches and seaside resorts, offer courses for beginners. It is for this reason that Akewatu was born, to provide advice
It is also a job-bearing field in New Aquitaine. In any case, this is demonstrated by the EuroSIMA association, which is committed to bringing companies together boardsports surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. In its study on surfing, EuroSIMA counts 400 companies and more than 3,500 jobs created in the region. Encouraging figures when you consider that the sector generates 1.7 billion euros in sales.
With a booming market, the sliding sports sector in New Aquitaine looks promising. This phenomenon could lead to many responsible initiatives, such as the Akewatu platform. Indeed, the latter evolves, and now offers many tips for athletes. Especially for surfers, on the choice of their board or the most suitable combination.
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