Grand Rapids-based Sportsman Tracker — the business behind the HuntWise App — has been purchased by Kalkomey, a national outdoor recreation and safety brand.
On Sept. 15, Kalkomey, the Texas-based provider of online recreational safety education and certifications, announced the acquisition of Sportsman Tracker with the help of Boston-based private-equity firm, Cove Hill Partners.
The HuntWise app was initially created in 2015 by avid hunter and tech entrepreneur Jeff Courter, who grew up on a family farm in Michigan. Courter’s love for the great outdoors stemmed from the passion of his father and grandfather, who were both avid and skilled hunters.
Courter said he identified the need for Sportsman Tracker when he was unable to find any proven, data-driven tool that would make his time hunting on public or private land more efficient. As interest in outdoor recreation continued to rise, Sportsman Tracker was, and is, uniquely positioned for quick and sustained growth.
The company raised $4.1 million from 11 investors through three rounds of funding in its initial stages. Early investors included Wakestream Ventures, Grand Ventures, M25, Detroit Innovate, Worldwide Trophy Adventures and Huron River Ventures.
“Although most people think of bigger cities like San Francisco or New York as epicenters of tech innovation, top tech talent resides right here in West Michigan,” Courter said. “We developed this sportsman-friendly platform to provide hunters with intuitive technology and tools to drastically increase their chances of a successful hunt.”
Since its creation, HuntWise has obtained 2.5 million users, providing consumers in all 50 states with a unique software-as-a-service platform platform consisting of proprietary algorithms that aid hunters with everything from a deer movement prediction tool, including peak movement times for multiple North American species, to downloadable public and private land boundary maps with landowner contact information.
“Our goal is to empower smarter and safer outdoor enthusiasts with the most accurate and complete tactical and educational content in the world,” said Kalkomey CEO Gayle Anderson. “With the acquisition of Sportsman Tracker, we can expand to a variety of new mediums and incorporate their innovative products into our broader content platform. I am blown away by their offerings and their talent, and I am thrilled to connect our teams, which I believe are the best outdoor educators, developers and content creators in the industry.”
Founded in 1995, Kalkomey is a provider of online recreational safety education, certifications and cloud-based agency management solutions. The company works with outdoor enthusiasts and state and local governments to deliver regulatory-approved safety education courses and certifications with a single platform for recreation safety management.
“We are confident that HuntWise will continue to lead the industry,” Anderson said. “Tested and monitored by our developers and refined by our users with every pin they drop, HuntWise is one of the most innovative technologies in the outdoor space.”