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Attractive and community-oriented frisbee golf brand Clash Discs aims for strong growth in North America - secures €300,000 in seed funding

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Frisbee golf disc manufacturer Clash Discs Oy aims for significant growth in its main market of North America by differentiating itself from other disc brands with its attractive and community-oriented brand and its agile product development, manufacturing, and service concept. The company aims to achieve a turnover of €6 million by 2027, with North America accounting for €4 million by 2026. The Start-up Fund Joensuu and the North Karelia Growth Fund each support the company's international market growth with a seed funding of €125,000. The total investment in the funding round is €300,000, while the company's owners simultaneously invest a total of €50,000.

Clash Discs Oy, a growth company from Kontiolahti, has experienced exceptionally rapid growth since its establishment in 2021. In just two years, it has achieved a turnover of €600,000, and over 100,000 frisbee discs have been distributed to retailers in 20 countries, primarily through three distributors, in addition to the Finnish market. The popularity of frisbee golf increased significantly in Finland and worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a surge in the number of enthusiasts and a higher demand for discs that exceeded the available supply in the market. Responding quickly to market demand, Timo Nuutinen was inspired to become a disc golf entrepreneur, initially studying the production of high-quality frisbee golf discs that meet the needs of both enthusiasts and professional players.
 
In February 2023, Clash Discs conducted a targeted share issue for product development, an international growth strategy implementation, and increasing working capital requirements for growth. In June 2023, the Joensuu Start-up Fund and North Karelia Growth Fund invested each €125,000 in Clash Discs Oy. Through the share issue, the company raised €300,000 in seed funding, while the company owners invested a total of €50,000.
 
The advancement of new disc golf discs and production methods, brand building, and exploration of new export markets have also been supported by a business investment and development project administered by the South Savo Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (South Savo ELY Centre). Additionally, the local brand and advertising agency, Vaganza Oy, has been involved from the beginning in building the international recognition and appeal of the Clash Discs brand.
 

High-quality discs and community as a competitive advantage

The cornerstone of Clash Discs' success lies in a value network of local partners with excellent product design, development, and manufacturing expertise.
 
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- We value close and rapid collaboration with local companies in the plastics industry in the discs' design, development, and manufacturing process. Their extensive expertise in mold and plastics technology and proximity brings us the agility to serve the needs of both enthusiasts and professional players. We can quickly introduce such disc models to the market that frisbee golfers wish for and need as the sport and courses diversify, says Markku Pyykkönen, CEO of Clash Discs Oy.
 
- The design of a new disc model can start with a local or international frisbee golfer contacting us with ideas and needs regarding the disc's characteristics. Once we kick off the product design together with our partners, a new disc model can be injection-molded and ready for testing within two weeks. For large disc manufacturers, the design phase alone can take up to a year. Frisbee golfers in North Karelia actively test our discs, and the feedback we receive from them is utilized in product design. Our customer-centric manufacturing and service concept combined with exceptional material quality ensuring high-quality discs with an enjoyable throwing experience are our strengths in differentiating ourselves from competitors, summarizes Timo Nuutinen.
 
- We are investing in the growth of an attractive and community-oriented brand that communicates and represents our values and is desired and appreciated by players. Clash Discs is made in collaboration with enthusiasts, professional players, clubs, and followers. We will be doing brand work more extensively with sports influencers, namely enthusiasts and professional players, who strengthen our brand community with their fandom, visibility in the sport, and success. Enthusiasts follow and identify with the professional players they follow and make their purchasing decisions mostly based on their fandom, says Markku Pyykkönen.
  

Export and growth targets in North America, Europe, the Far East, and Africa

The company aims to achieve a €6 million turnover by 2027. With the support of a recent funding round, Clash Discs intends to expedite the implementation of its international expansion strategy in its key markets. The most robust growth is sought particularly in the main market area of disc golf, North America, which currently accounts for over 50 percent of the company's revenue. The company aims to achieve a turnover of €4 million from North America alone by 2026. Additionally, the company seeks to establish a solid foothold in the broader European disc golf market. Furthermore, the goal is to prepare for and expand exports to entirely new countries for the sport, as the popularity of disc golf is rapidly spreading worldwide, attracting new enthusiasts and competitive players. As part of the growth strategy, the aim is for the brand's playfully and memorably named discs to fly from players' hands into baskets in the sport's new markets in the Far East and African countries, where competitive courses have already been opened.
 
- We have a clear growth plan for our main markets and new openings. There are approximately ten major and significant disc golf brands worldwide. We aim to capture market share from well-known disc manufacturers with our high-quality products, greatly valued and experienced by players, through our agile approach and community-oriented brand culture. The growth opportunities in Finland and as the sport expands globally are enormous. With the funding, we can focus on product development of new disc models, building the business in target markets, and capturing the customer base. Funding also means new open jobs. The funds will be used for recruitment as we strengthen our team across all areas, from product development and design to production, sales, and marketing, summarizes Timo Nuutinen about the company's internationalization goals.
 

Funds trust the potential to rise alongside major disc brands

- Clash Discs benefits from a strong local network of partners specialized in the plastics industry. This network gives the company valuable expertise and resources to support its disc golf product design, production, and development processes. The market for disc golf business is driven by a hugely popular and inclusive sport that attracts players of all ages, including professionals who compete on international courses. Disc golf continues to attract new players, indicating its growing popularity and potential for further expansion. Given these favorable market conditions, fund manager and growth coach Kari Pulkkinen from Start-up Fund Joensuu expresses confidence in Clash Discs' potential to achieve its goals and become a globally significant disc golf brand in its field. The participation of both funds in developing Clash Discs' business and internationalization highlights the recognition and support the company has received from the investors.


Photos: Clash Discs Oy, Brand and advertising agency Vaganza Oy

Further information:
 
Clash Discs Oy
Markku Pyykkönen, CEO
+358 45 222 5858, info@clashdiscs.com
 
Timo Nuutinen, Entrepreneur
+358 44 533 1531, info@clashdiscs.com
 
Business Joensuu Oy, Start-up Fund Joensuu
Kari Pulkkinen, Fund Manager & Growth Coach
 
Redstone Nordics, North Karelia Growth Fund 
Kaj Hagros, Managing Partner, CEO
+358 40 849 1749, kaj.hagros@redstone.vc

 
Clash Discs Oy
Clash Discs Oy, a start-up company based in Kontiolahti and founded in 2021, manufactures disc golf discs and equipment. The company aims to become a significant player in the growing disc golf business and gain popularity among enthusiasts, professional players, and disc golf clubs worldwide. The manufacturing and design of the discs take place in North Karelia, a region known for its strong tradition and expertise in the plastics industry. The company focuses on exports, with its primary market being North America. In its one and a half years of operation, the company has launched 16 disc models into the market. The branding of their products stands out from competitors, as each disc model is named after a positive sensory experience, such as Popcorn, evoking pleasant and positive emotions. Clash Discs has already exported discs to 20 countries. Their products are of high quality and have won several significant international competitions. The company is heavily investing in growth in global markets to become a globally recognized and desired disc brand.
 
Start-up Fund Joensuu
Start-up Fund Joensuu helps start-up companies grow, employ and internationalise. The Fund obtains its capital from the City of Joensuu and private investors. Joensuun Startup Kehitys Oy, a subsidiary of Business Joensuu, manages the fund. The fund's capital is € 2.5 million, and a typical investment is € 50,000–200,000. With Business Joensuu's Business Accelerator and internationalisation services, the Fund supports its target companies' domestic and international growth. The Fund is an avenue for companies’ second phase funding round. While the Fund is not subject to any field-specific restrictions, its main focus is on companies specializing in digitalisation, the forest bioeconomy, materials, and innovative technology. Target companies must operate in Joensuu, want to be located in Joensuu or have a connection with the Joensuu region at the operative activity level.
 
Redstone as a company
Redstone is a Berlin venture capital company that manages a large number of venture capital funds. Redstone is a general partner of the North Karelia Growth Fund. The North Karelia Growth Fund invests in newly established young companies, especially in the fields of digitalisation, forestry, bioeconomy, photonics, tourism, creative industries and materials research.
 


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