Wide Open Spaces, a VC-backed social commerce company founded by two social media entrepreneurs, launched Openseason.com, a private sales site targeting the $90 billion hunting and fishing market.
“Wide Open Spaces is building the One Kings Lane for sportsmen by engaging our community through content and commerce,” said Wide Open Spaces co-founder and CEO, Denis ODwyer, who previously held key roles at Yelp, Clover, Yahoo!. “Openseason extends our commitment to the hunting and fishing community by providing a site that gives them easy access to quality gear at insider prices. With a true mover’s first advantage, strong traction and hyper focus on a passion-based vertical, we are taking leadership to serve the needs of the largely underserved $90 billion market.”
Membership to Wide Open Spaces is free. The site curates offers on hunting, fishing and outdoor gear up to 80 percent off retail prices. Members-only offers are delivered via email, and exclusive sales events are limited in time and supply. Combining commerce, social and mobile, Wide Open Spaces members are able to access competitive offers in one location, engage with their favorite brands as well as new and emerging brands, and connect with like-minded sportsmen enthusiasts.
Wide Open Spaces launched in 2012 with seed funding of $1.75 million from venture capitalists and angel investors. Investors include Mercury Fund, RPM Ventures, and Dundee Venture Capital. Wide Open Spaces leadership boasts technology entrepreneurs with a depth of experience in ecommerce, user acquisition, and online marketing. The team includes ODwyer and Chris Mitchell co-founder and vice president of engineering, who held roles at Spredfast, Zilliant, and SocialSmack.
The online market for hunting and fishing gear has not kept pace with other industries that have captured ecommerce market share. One in nine Americans belong to the hunting and fishing community, yet online shoppers have been forced to rely on outdated web sites, fragmented forums, and word-of-mouth to find products and information they need at an affordable price.
“We are thrilled to be a brand partner of Wide Open Spaces,” said Randy Wood, Vice President of Sales, TenPoint Crossbows. “The site is a marked improvement in the hunting and fishing online shopping experience. Wide Open Spaces benefits brands and consumers with a much easier way to find and purchase quality gear.”
Wide Open Spaces has worked with more than 325 brand partners in the outdoor industry and has become a sought after gateway for sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts to enter a socially connected world through social commerce. Leveraging the power of social and mobile commerce, Wide Open Spaces has taken leadership in an untapped market.