Obby, the community marketplace website for people to list, discover and book learning experiences in London, recently closed a £250k angel funding round.
The site is planning on using the funds to help grow its class offering and reach more passionate Londoners.
Since Obby’s launch in mid-2016, the start-up has grown rapidly, helping over 1,500 Londoners find their “Obby” in a short-period of time.
The start-up’s strong growth has attracted funding from several renowned angel investors, including Sir Peter Michael (founder of Quantel, Classic FM and California’s Peter Michael Winery), Steve Parish (founder Tag Worldwide, Chairman CPFC, Seed investor to Seenit), Django Davidson (founding partner Hosking Partners, Seed investor to Nutmeg & BizEquity) and Nick Green (early employee / head of BD at Deliveroo, General Manager Meal Pal UK, Seed investor to Juro).
“What an exciting year! I have met some incredible people and certainly some of the best teachers and makers in London – Berry Brothers, Bloomon, London Photography School and the Avenue Cookery School to name a few,” said Obby co-founder Tom Batting.
“But the best bit is that I get to try out lots of classes all the time so my breadmaking skills are right up there with the best of the best.”
Co-founder Max Kufner said: “When we launched Obby we just had a sign-up form to a Dim Sum class that we organised for our friends and family.
“Now we have a great looking website and are currently introducing proper back-office software for our suppliers.“
According to the Office for National Statistics, £3.4bn is spent on leisure classes in the UK per year. Obby research suggests over £1bn is spent on hobby classes and courses each year in London alone.
The same research also fond that 41 per cent of people who searched for a class last year didn’t end up booking one because they couldn’t find the right class or teacher.
Beyond increasing what Obby has to offer in its current verticals (food and drink, and arts and crafts), Obby plans to move into new verticals (e.g. music, languages and technology classes) as well as enter new cities throughout the UK in the next 12 months.
Obby Class Host Workshop 305 Community Centre said: “We love working with Obby – they are a great partner and we love how passionate they are about community organisations such as ours.”