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Swimply

swimplyBunim Laskin wants to make a splash in the Tank with Swimply, his “AirBnB for Swimming Pools,” in Shark Tank episode 1118. Laskin first got the idea at age 14 when he felt his outdoor activities were restricted in his suburban New Jersey home. He grew up in Israel which had a lot easier access to parks and outdoor activities for kids.

One day he noticed his neighbor’s pool was only used when her grandchildren visited. He approached the neighbor and asked if he could use the pool. She said yas and Laskin’s family agreed to pay her 25% of her maintenance fees (electricity, chemicals, etc) every month. In a couple of weeks, the neighbor had cut similar deals with a half a dozen other families; she was making money with her pool!

A lightbulb went off in Laskin’s head and he started a small business called PoolForU with his Bar Mitzvah money. He found 80 area pools and approached each pool owner with his pool sharing idea. Within a few weeks, he had 30 pools signed up and 150 customers to rent the pools by the hour. After getting featured on MSNBC, his website crashed!

In 2017, Laskin returned to Jerusalem for college, but he quickly dropped out to return to the US and start Swimply, an app that would allow his original concept to go national. He originally targeted New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Miami Beach, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Houston. Now, he has over 2000 host pools for Swimply nationally with over 17,000 registered users.

The Money in the Pool

Swimply vets every pool with a health and safety inspection. Once a pool is vetted, it gets in the system. Pools rent for anywhere from $40 per hour to over $300 an hour for exceptional, resort style pools. Swimply takes 15% of the rental fee from pool owners and charges renters a booking fee. Pool owners use the app as a way to recoup the costs of pool ownership while renters have a relatively inexpensive way to enjoy a private pool with a group of friends or family. The average group size is 6-8 people, so for a 2 hour pool rental, it’s fairly economical.

For now, both pool owners and renters sign a liability waiver. Swimply hopes to work out the insurance issue in the near future to provide an added layer of liability protection. LAskin hopes his app is the next big thing in sharing economy applications. He knows swimming with the Sharks will help him get there.

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Swimply – Swimming Pool Rental App

Swimply Shark Tank Recap

Bunim enters the Shark Tank seeking $300,000 for 5% of his business. He explains his business and gives his pitch. With only $215,000 in revenue, the Sharks aren’t terribly impressed. Lori says she can’t invest; she’s out. Barbara thinks the idea is nuts; she’s out. Kevin hates the valuation; he’s out. Mark isn’t ready to take the journey with Bunim; he’s out. Robert thinks the idea is crazy and he’s the last Shark out.

Swimply Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. The Sharks missed out on this one.  Swimply first aired in the Shark Tank on March 13, 2020 – about a week before the Covid-19 pandemic shut the world down. Public pools and beaches were closed, but private pools were not. The result: Swimply saw a 4,000% increase in business.

In May, 2021, the company was in 125 U.S. markets, two markets in Canada and five markets in Australia. That same month, they raised $10 million in venture capital to improve their tech infrastructure. As of June, 2021, they were doing close to $1 million in monthly revenue.

In July, 2021, the app ran afoul of the Wisconsin Department of Health who believes Swimply pool owners are operating public pools which requires a license. The department threatened fines for owners and Swimply is threatening to sue the state. The state backed down a few months later.

In November, 2021, the company did a $40 million venture round from a slew of investors including one of the founders of AirBnB. The company also announced it wants to move beyond swimming pools to tennis courts, out door spaces like rooftops and home gyms.

In early 2022, the company began offering tennis court rentals and it plans to offer “Swimply Spaces,” which offers rentals of sport courts, large backyards to home gyms and music studios. As of July, 2022, annual revenue is $7 million and the company is valued at $30 million.

In August, 2022, the city of Norman, Oklahoma, began citing Swimply hosts for code violations. Although there is nothing about letting people use your pool in the code they cited, they continued to issue citations. Swimply got their legal team involved and the issue is ongoing. Read more about that HERE.

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