Prairie Capital VI, LP partnered with co-founders Jon and Susan Foss and other senior management to recapitalize Foss Swim Schools, Inc. (“Foss” or the “Company”). Headquartered in Eden Prairie, MN, Foss is a leading provider of learn-to-swim programs for children of all ages and skill levels. Foss currently operates 13 swim school locations throughout the Minneapolis and Chicago markets. The Company offers year-round swim instruction with over 20,000 students enrolled at any given time, and total annual enrollment approaching 100,000 students.
Foss represents a premier brand in the private swim school market. The Company has redefined the “swimming lessons” experience through a proprietary and differentiated curriculum focused on providing students a creative, animated, and challenging program delivered with an unmatched dedication to quality. Foss invests substantially in instructor training, ensuring that each instructor is expert at teaching Foss’ proprietary swim instruction methodologies. Additionally, the Company has built a sophisticated technology platform to make online registration and scheduling seamless, capture real-time parent feedback, and provide site-level metrics to improve instructor and Company performance. The delivery of consistent, high-quality swim instruction and customer service across all sites promotes a premium Foss brand and engenders deep customer loyalty.
Private swim schools represent a niche market with attractive growth opportunities. Within the overall $2.1 billion U.S. swim instruction industry, enrollment rates are expected to experience steady growth over the next five years driven primarily by increasing awareness of the importance of swim instruction and drowning avoidance. The swim instruction industry is fragmented with a high degree of variability in quality of instruction and service. As parents increasingly place a premium on curriculum, instructor quality, purpose-built facility features, and smaller class sizes, the private swim school segment will continue to grow at a faster rate than the broader swim instruction industry. Private swim school instruction represents roughly a third of the U.S. swim instruction industry, providing significant runway for growth and increased share.
Prairie Capital partnered with senior management to prioritize and execute on company-building investments in de novo site expansion, technology, human capital, and add-on acquisitions.
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