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Bat Rentals Are Big Business

Love it or hate it, the Inc. 5000 has one undeniable benefit: Variety. Sifting through the list, you find businesses you never thought could exist, let alone prosper ($25M water tower cleaning company, anyone?). This week, we're looking at some of our favorites, and showing you where the opportunity is to build on their success.

Bat rentals are knocking it out of the park

Bat Club USA (number 326 on the Inc. 5000) generates $3.1M ARR renting high-end bats and other baseball gear to parents. Revenue has grown 1,425% over the last three years.

*Source: Inc.

Serious youth athletes (or more often, their parents) face constant pressure to buy new equipment as they outgrow gear, or as new technologies emerge offering them an edge.

These aren't cheap. A discounted Louisville Slugger from 2020 will still run you $110, while newer limited-edition bats go for ~$500.

Head of content for The Hustle's Trends knows all too well:

My son played [baseball] competitively until about a year ago. I could probably make hundreds of dollars on all the gear we have in our basement, most of which we end up just donating.

Apply this model to other sports, like tennis, lacrosse, and field hockey, all of which are seeing increased participation, and all of which require expensive rackets and sticks.

*Source: State of Play 2020

Or beat Bat Club at their own game: We don't usually suggest taking a swing at incumbents, but Bat Club's website has some serious UX issues.

The sales copy and membership plans are confusing, key features (like, er, purchasing) sometimes don't work, and inventory is sparse.

Those with the experience and know-how to build clean, functional subscription sites, or those with better supply chain logistics and inventory control may have an opportunity to steal home.

*Source: Bat Club USA

Fashion for cancer patients

Care+Wear is a fashion brand with a niche audience: Cancer patients. Its team of 11 generated $34M selling a line of adaptive clothing and accessories specifically for people undergoing long-term treatments.

Flares: Fashion for Cancer Patients, Car Wash Rollups, and Baseball Bat Rentals

Chemotherapy often requires patients to have a port-a-cath implanted beneath their skin. This "port" makes it easier to receive medicine, but is hard to access beneath typical clothes. This is a hassle for patients, considering that treatment can take 3-6 hours at a time.

Care+Wear's port-accessible shirts and hoodies have zippers on the chest to allow for easy, comfortable use. At $95, the margins on these clothes are likely high.

*Source: Care+Wear

People with medical needs are often overlooked by the fashion industry, and brands like Care+Wear are making a name by offering adaptive clothes that actually look good. Some opportunities you can explore:

  • Adaptive undergarments with front or side closures make it easier for the world's 75M wheelchair users to dress. Slick Chicks is innovating in this space, but men still have no stylish option.

  • Care+Wear recommends this generic pregnancy pillow (which hits $1.2M MRR on Amazon, according to Jungle Scout) to patients who experience pain trying to sleep. Why not rebrand it and cater specifically to this niche?

*Source: Care+Wear and Amazon

Car washes

Coldwater Capital nabbed number 27 on this year's Inc. 5000, generating $12.7M with a portfolio of 14 local car washes and an app called Coinless, which helps car washes switch to contactless payments. 77% of US drivers prefer professional car washes.

*Source: International Carwash Association

Turns out the boring business of car cleanliness may just get your wallet in a lather.

One of the biggest players, Mister Car Wash, IPO'd in June and has a market cap of $5.5B as of this writing. In March, it had 344 locations and $595M in net revenue over the previous year, with $76M in net income.

Still, the company represents just 0.6% of the 63K car washes in the US, and the rest of the industry is incredibly fragmented. For example, there are 17.5K conveyor-style car washes, and 85% of them are owned by companies with less than five locations. California and Texas have the most car washes, but Florida is growing the fastest.

*Source: Davidson Capital Advisors

Here are two opportunities to consider:

  1. Buy one or more existing car washes: An analysis of recent M&A deals shows that the median revenue was $788K ARR per location.

  2. Start your own service: Pay particular attention to the mobile car wash space. Search interest is up YoY, and Washé recently raised $3M to connect car owners with local roving sudsters.

Would you consider any of these opportunities? Please share in the comments!

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