easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou has welcomed the sport-centric business after easyTennis creator Ganesh Rao secured a £10,000 investment and easyGroup access for his online tennis club venture, which came as part of a competition to find new partners.
Rao is no stranger to the spotlight, of course. He previously won £50,000 playing poker, which he then used to start cosmetic clinic comparison site TreatmentSaver.com.
He proceeded to take the business onto Dragons’ Den, but failed to secure the £100,000 sought from the Dragons and walked away empty-handed. One of the criticisms was that the website didn’t have a strong enough brand, which seems to have been taken on board as the company is now known as RightClinic.
Perhaps that’s also the reason Rao decided joining the easyGroup was the way to go with his new venture.
Dubbed “Tinder for tennis”, easyTennis has been billed as the first platform of its kind for the UK. The service – no pun intended – gives users the means to find someone with whom they can play a match of tennis.
easyTennis allows customers to find players based on skill level, location and availability, so it’s simple to find any local would-be Andy Murrays or Serena Williams’ should they be looking for an intense game reminiscent of Wimbledon now that the tournament has come to an end.
“I’m delighted to welcome Ganesh and his team into the easy family of brands,” said Haji-Ioannou.
“easyTennis is a great way to meet new friends and improve your game. It’s also a great fit with our ‘easy’ brand values – taking on the posh, expensive clubs and making tennis more accessible and affordable. Definitely for the many – not the few!”
In terms of how the service is monetised, easyTennis users can arrange their first match-up for free, while prices thereafter will start at £2.99 per partner match. A membership option is also available at £4.99 a month for unlimited partner matching.
The launch has started off in London, but there is a plan to be nationwide by th end of the year. Other easyTennis functions expected to arrive in the coming months include coaching, tournaments, equipment, tennis holidays and booking of public courts.
“Tennis is a great sport but it’s no fun if you’ve got nobody to play with,” said Rao.
“Frustrated that I couldn’t find anyone I tried joining a tennis club but unless you ‘knew’ people there I actually had the same problem – just an expensive one! I decided to create an online tennis club to make the whole process easier and that’s how easyTennis was born.”