Background info on the investment of Scout24-Group founder Christian Mangstl
At Keller Sports we believe that open communication as the basis for trustful relations. Therefore we would like to inform our customers and business partners that Christian Mangstl, co-founder and former CEO of the Group Scout24, invested in Keller Sports GmbH.
As he truly was our preferred candidate we are very happy about this news.
Christian Mangstl, is one of the founders of the Scout24 Group (e.g. autoscout24, friendsscout24, etc.) and responsible for turning the Scout24 Group into the big and successful company that it is today.
First the work, then the climb
Those of you that know us a bit better, may wonder how it can be that after refusing it for a long time we have now decided to accept external financing. Well, first of all, it is not quite correct to say that we always had something “against” investors. In fact we think that first comes a clear strategy based on business-columns (for us those are the Logistic, IT, Marketing and HR areas among others) before scaling the business to the maximum extent. We are still convinced of this today.
This is how we have managed the strong growth over 7 years just with our Cash-Flow (incl. 2012 we have had an average growth rate of over 130% per year)
Right since the beginning we were convinced that in order to achieve sustainable and profitable growth, we need to offer customers true and real added value. That is why we offer to all of our customers additional customized services such as the stringing of racquets, flock sparing of clothes and the testing of products. We also offer product videos so that the customer can “experience the product” through our 1 minute-long advice-videos and we write our own product descriptions for the products so that also the “not so experienced customer” can use it as a shopping-guideline (e.g. http://www.keller-sports.com/tennis/tennisshoes/Adidas-Adipower-Barricade-Clay-white-black-SS12.html). Our customers can also chat live with our product experts if they still have further questions (additionally to communication via telephone and e-mail).
“Turnover is King”, but what counts in the end is “profitable turnover”
First of all, yes we agree that in retail business it is necessary not only to have a clear strategy in the short and long-term but also to become a leader in the market. Over the last seven and a half year, we multiple times had the opportunity of receiving financing from external investors and that would have allowed us to expand earlier into more markets and sports. Surely it would have translated into a significant sales growth; nevertheless it would have been only a revenue growth at the cost of a negative profitability. And, at the end, profitability is exactly what is crucial for everybody (for investors too).
We doubt that it is so easy (like usually directly VC-financed start-ups, that could not exist without funding) in our market to simply “push the handle over to profitability” after a very fast growth with a wide range of products (that appear in all price searching machines, are offered on Google etc. and that will be also sold if the price is good enough) and then secure long term profitability.
What’s next for Keller Sports?
Christian Mangstl’s investment came at the ideal moment as the right “next step” towards our vision of becoming an international online-sports-shop e-commerce leader. No doubt that we received “better” offers from other investors, but for us an experienced online-businessman like the co-founder of the Scout24-Group was the perfect decision to get another step closer to our vision.
The growth rate of over 200% currently and the already concretely defined next steps of the implementation of our strategy give us a great feeling that we are following the right path and that we will be able to offer a unique shopping experience to our customers.
For further exciting and sporty years, yours Moritz and Jakob Keller
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