The Akewatu initiative
This is the initiative of Nicolas, Julien and Franck, lovers of board sports. Their ambition? Create a community platform where enthusiasts can get information. But also to share and equip themselves as well as possible for their sporting escapades. More than just a website, the start-up, based in New Aquitaine, also has a responsible approach that seeks to offer quality professional equipment at fair prices. An ambitious project in a society where the economic model tends towards over-consumption.
Why the name Akewatu?
The word Akewatu means ‘next session’ in Maori, a culture that greatly inspires the founders of Akewatu. In this culture, loyalty and solidarity count more than hierarchies or wealth.
These values are reflected in the company and in the very concept of buying and selling verified used equipment. Bringing your equipment back to life withAkewatu is better for the whole planet. And it means passing on to another rider a product that we have enjoyed.
How the platform works:
Akewatu’s success is due to its growing network. Indeed, the brand has hundreds of partnerships with surf shops. Located throughout France and even in Australia, these professionals systematically check the boards before shipping. In addition, the ads posted online are moderated daily by the start-up’s teams. Among the products available on the brand’s website are surfboards, wetsuits, accessories and skates.
In addition, the founders of the start-up managed to raise €1 million from private business angels represented by Didier Kuhn, Marc de Beffort, Henrique Fernandes, and Stéphane Enten. This considerable sum will enable them, among other things, to establish themselves on the English market, but also to create an application and diversify their catalogue. The ambition of Akewatu’s boss, Julien Martel, is to eventually conquer the European markets, with the aim of becoming one of the largest surf and shaper networks. A very ambitious project that would launch the start-up to conquer Europe in record time.
A platform that invites responsible consumption:
Une plateforme qui invite à la consommation responsable : Indeed, the founders of the brand are all three very attached to the values of Polynesian culture. For them, Akewatu should not be thought of as a simple “e-shop”. But rather as a sharing platform that promotes the exchange and pooling of information. The approach also aims to encourage responsible consumption, through the sale of both new and second-hand products. Snow sports enthusiasts can recycle their equipment via the Akewatu platform and give it several lives.
With the “Board Diary” tab available on the website, Akewatu acts as a content broker. In this way, the platform publishes daily tutorials. But also advice written by professionals in the sector. This is to establish a dynamic of sharing and exchange.
Like certain brands such as La Camif, the Envie network and Maisons du Monde, Akewatu has taken action against the Black Friday phenomenon. By offering its 50,000 members the opportunity to go surfing or skiing on 23 November. The platform’s employees set an example by meeting on the beach at Cap Ferret for a surf session. The aim of this action? To fight against over-consumption and to raise awareness in the community for a more environmentally friendly way of life.
Rack Ta Board with Akewatu
The Akewatu Crew:
Johanne Defay, Kauli Vaast, Pauline Ado, Jorgann Couzinet, Justine Dupont, Maxime Huscenot, Edouard Delpero, Kyllian Guérin… so many great names in surfing who have joined the Crew Akewatu to put their second-hand equipment online. Whether it’s boards with 1 or 2 sessions under their belt or nuggets that have seen their champions win titles: this is the place to be.
Athletes who have already joined the crew:
Justine Dupont – Johanne Defay – Adrien Toyon – Pauline Ado – Edouard Delpero – Tristan Guilbaud – Thomas Debierre – Charly Quivront – Ugo Robin – Alice Lemoigne – Noa Dupouy – Maxime Huscenot – Mathis Crozon – Jorgann Couzinet – Teva Bouchgua – Kyllian Guérin – Maxime Dos – Anjos Ramzi Boukhiam.
Last September, Akewatu launched a campaign to become a shareholder in their company, offering a percentage of their capital. They mobilised over 830 investors, and achieved their goal with flying colours.
World number 2 Johanne Defay, Sébastien Fabre (co-founder of Vestiaire Collective), Marc De Beffort (ex-VP of Monster Energy) and many other renowned investors participated in this campaign!