The Wave and Sullivan Street Partners Sign Investment Deal
Inland surfing company, The Wave, has completed a significant investment deal with Sullivan Street Partners, that will enable the company to push forward with its ambitious roll-out plans. The initial funding platform of c.£27 million will support the expansion phase of the business, enabling the securing of sites and planning, and further debt finances for the next 3 to 4 Wave Parks, including its London site which has already been secured in Enfield. The agreement with Sullivan Street also comes with a commitment to fund the construction phases of the future projects.
This deal follows on from the exclusive partnership agreement that The Wave signed in January this year with wave-making technology provider, Wavegarden, to deliver many more developments across the UK and Ireland. Discussions are currently underway regarding a number of potential sites in the UK and the team is also looking internationally, as the surf park sector takes off globally.
The investment deal sees Sullivan Street take a controlling stake in the business, with Jar Capital remaining as a significant investment partner. Founding partners, Layton Tamberlin and Richard Sanders, and the rest of the Sullivan Street team, bring both funding and expertise, adding real value to the Wave as it moves to the next stage of maturity.
The Wave is founded on a clear purpose to share the positive wellbeing benefits of water and waves with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. It has a triple bottom line approach to business, which assesses its impact on planet and people, as well as the financial implications of decisions. It was essential that any investment partner supports this approach.
Craig Stoddart, The Wave CEO, said:
“Working with Sullivan Street will allow us to move forward with our strategy to develop up to 5 more Wave sites in the next 5 years, and further cement us as a leading developer in the surf park sector – a leisure category that is set to boom. This is a really exciting time for us as a business and we are delighted to be working with a team who bring additional expertise and insight at this critical point.”
Layton Tamberlin, Founding Partner of Sullivan Street, said:
“We are excited to play an instrumental role in the next stage of The Wave’s development. What the team has achieved would have been incredible without the pandemic, but to be at the forefront of this new, consumer-driven, market sector at such a time is remarkable. We see excellent current performance at the Bristol site, which was maybe invisible to others due to Covid and the recency of the development, but the opportunity to develop beyond this is enormous – meaning an excellent investment for Sullivan Street and a wider reach of wellness and health benefits to people across the country.”
Nick Hounsfield, Founder and CVO of The Wave, explains:
“Our purpose is central to everything. We want to share the positive power of waves, the physical and mental health benefits, and the pure joy of surfing with as many people as possible. We want to be a business for good – and we want to work with other like-minded businesses to amplify what we are doing. SSP is a partner whose commitment to sustainability and creating social change are aligned to ours, highlighted by their recent drive to achieve carbon neutrality for Octavius Infrastructure within 100 days of ownership. We are really excited to work alongside the team to develop more sites and create even more triple bottom line impact.”
The leisure and hospitality industries are reeling from the effects of the pandemic with many businesses struggling for survival. However, one area that experienced growth in 2021 has been outdoor leisure. This, combined with surging interest in health and wellbeing, and continued growth in experiential leisure and staycations, makes The Wave’s inland surf destination model very appealing.
The Wave in Bristol was the first inland surfing lake using the innovative Wavegarden Cove technology to open in the world. Despite the pandemic, further sites using the Wavegarden tech opened in 2020 and 2021 in South Korea and Brazil, as this exciting new leisure sector continues to expand globally. Spurred by growth in surfing – and the Olympic effect – this burgeoning sector is definitely on the up. Predictions indicate there could even be up to 100 surf parks operating globally in the next 20 years – The Wave intends to be a leading international player in this market.