Marin County golf course software firm Whoosh raises $6M

A Marin County software startup just got a $6 million boost of confidence in its plan to streamline management of golf courses.

Mill Valley-based Whoosh Inc. on Thursday announced it received $6 million in funding, led by Craft Ventures with participation from its initial investor, Bienville Capital, as well as Operator Partners, Human Ventures, Alaris Capital and other angel investors.

Whoosh released its cloud-based, tablet-centric software this past fall and plans to unveil it at the annual PGA Show trade conference in Orlando this week. The company said its system can help private clubs save up to 20 hours a week and reduce overall revenue loss by streamlining operations, improving both staff and member communication, and enabling better member experiences.

"As most private facilities have encountered a 20% or more increase in annual golf play since 2020, clubs have been forced to dramatically change their operations to meet the elevated demand," said co-founder and CEO Colin Read in the news release.

Read is a serial entrepreneur, according to his LinkedIn profile. He started working on Whoosh in December 2020 after stints leading business development for Bay Area startups Common Networks, a discount broadband internet provider acquired in late 2020, and Reserve, a reservations tech firm acquired by what’s now a subsidiary of American Express.

The company said the average club is wasting more than $30,000 a year due to inefficient operations that lead to overstaffing and revenue leakage. To address this, Whoosh said it talked with over 150 private clubs around the country, several of which are now using the system.

The software features a single- and multiple-course-club management, virtual tee sheets with caddie tracking and waitlist management, and communication tools such as texting and chat to reach members and staff.

Arra Malekzadeh, principal of Craft Ventures, said Whoosh will help lead modernize the golf industry.

"The private club industry is an over $25B market that has seen little innovation over the past 20 years and is still dominated by on-premise based solutions," Malekzadeh said.

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