Walk Run Cycle is a free-to-download app of self-guided walking, running and cycling routes, featuring highly curated content, to show tourists, business visitors and locals the best of a city. London, Birmingham and Newcastle are now available with more UK and Worldwide cities planned. There are over 1.4 billion international tourist visits each year.
The app had already achieved nearly 60,000 app downloads, over a quarter million app page views, voted by Guardian newspaper as one of the best walking tours in the UK and a must-have app by the Birmingham Mail - but this was all pre covid lockdowns. I decided to put the app into hibernation when covid stopped the tourism industry in its tracks. Since then, I suffered a health scare last year requiring surgery which has led me to re-evaluate my life, and so I have decided to sell the business rather than move back into the high growth, potentially high reward but higher stress lifestyle of growing a brand new business - I have already "been there and done that", selling my previous business to a UK Listed company! I now work part-time as Finance Director for a Charity, a non-profit and as volunteer Trustee for another charity, all less stressful than a start-up!
The 3 year target I was working on for Walk Run Cycle was to be live in 100 cities around the world, which would achieve approx. 20 million app views per annum based on current stats. A full pitchdeck and business plan was created just prior to covid lockdown and this is available to any purchaser of the business.
The app is free to download. Marketing of the app to the end consumer was via paid for app advertising on Google and via natural SEO and working with other local tourism related bodies. The average cost per download across both Birmingham and London was around 8p per download, an extremely competitive unit rate in the app market. The same marketing model was planned for other cities, though with a greater emphasis on natural search results.
The app is used by tourists and business visitors (as well as locals) – ie an active and affluent consumer market and the perfect target market for local businesses in each city such as bars, restaurants, shops and other companies that will appeal to affluent visitors. In addition, as more cities are launched the overall user base for Walk Run Cycle grows into the millions per annum which will appeal to marketing from national and international brands. Walk Run Cycle was about to go out to businesses to start generating advertising income, together with a pitch to business angels/VCs/crowdfunding to raise expansion funds, when covid hit and everything stopped. All the work already put in is available for someone to purchase to take the business to its eventual conclusion of Walk Run Cycle guides being available in major cities around the World!
A trade sale after 3 years with 100 cities live around the world was always the intended exit. At that point, based on conservative forecast costs and income, an EBITDA of £2m per annum was anticipated. Companies in the Media and similar sectors of the UK stock market trade on multiples typically of 17x earnings, so a trade sale value of £20m (being just 10x EBITDA) would be immediately earnings enhancing for any such buyer.
A lot of the hard work has been done! I've created three live cities in the UK and shown there is a market for this kind of app. The financial forecasts in terms of income per city are extremely conservative so that forecasts with 100 cities live are likely on the very low side (forecasts are based on 100 cities live by the end of year 3, with just 75 advertisers per city, paying on average just £50 per month, which gives forecast EBITDA of nearly £2m in year 3). It just needs someone to take the current model and repeat for more cities. I'd love to stay involved if I can, but if someone wants complete control that is understandable and OK too.
Please take a look at the full business plan which accompanies the pitchdeck, both available on here and please get in touch with any questions. You can find the app live on google play (search for walkruncycle) and a version is ready to go live on Apple also (full handover support included).
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