Suman Siva asked Duffy Dillon, 8/7/2017 3:24:34 PM

How large is the learn-to-swim market and what is your perspective on relevant trends within the space?

Hope you’re doing well. As a brief intro, my name is Suman Siva and I'm an Associate at a consumer investing firm called Castanea Partners. We’re looking to learn more about the 'learn to swim market' that teaches young children how to swim through structured classes. We'd love to better understand the size of this market, as well how the market size is changing as more structured offerings emerge. Our understanding is that there are a few types of players:

 

1)            Branded players focused on providing structured LTS classes (e.g. Goldfish swim schools, Aqua Tots)

2)            Mom and pop and community swim programs that provide LTS classes (e.g. YMCAs)

3)            Informal offerings (e.g. kids learning from parents, at summer camps, other teachers) 

 

We were wondering if you would be able to connect us with someone who could speak to the market, including market size and recent trends in a consulting capacity. Look forward to hearing from you!

8/15/2017 11:26:41 AM,
Duffy Dillon replied:

Hello and thank you for your question.  It's a resonably "large" question as for scope, but I will do my best.  The overall potential learn to swim market is pretty huge.  It is every current and future person who does not yet know how to swim.  EVERYONE should know how to swim.  It is the ONE sport skill that will save a person's life; and then it leads to so many other life-enhancing and life-enjoying opportunities and pursuits, whether it be for sport or for leisure and recreation.

You are correct in your listing of the types of programs that are currently offered.  I believe the current trend is still pretty organic and local which seems to be leading to decent to moderate growth in the overall market. Certain communities have been more successful than others and is very dependent on program leadership.

The market is very labor-intensive - for every few new clients in a class, you need another teacher.  There seems to be very little passive income.  You're only earning revenue when facing clients.  Quality training is a must.

I hope this helps you get started on your discovery.  Good luck.