Since its Australian launch in November 2019, American app Swimply has disrupted the sharing economy by giving Aussie beach lovers a reason to dive into their neighbour’s pool instead.
With the popularity of sharing economy apps such as Uber, Airbnb and Airtasker, it is no surprise that an increasing number of these apps continue to hit the market, with Chinese ride-share company DiDi planning to launch in Australia in mid-March.
Whether it be cars, houses, driveways or bikes, there is no limit to what can and can’t be listed and shared in the sharing economy.
Swimply has been dubbed the “Airbnb of swimming pools”, with 1,000 pools up for splash currently listed across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Swimply is the brainchild of American entrepreneur Bunim Laskin, who as the eldest of 12 children, wanted to find an activity that all of his siblings could enjoy, without breaking the bank.
“One day, I realised that my neighbour’s pool was always empty so I offered to help out with her pool expenses if my family could use her pool when she wasn’t. She loved the idea and before long our entire block made the same arrangement with her,” said Bunim, co-founder and CEO of Swimply.
Using the Bar Mitzvah money he had saved, Bunim bootstrapped his startup, before reaching out to investors after proving his concept.
“I realised that this community-driven solution may scale quite well and so Swimply was born!” he said.
Having initially been launched in the United States in 2018 by then 21-year old Bunim, Australia is Swimply’s first international market.
“The opportunity to expand to Australia was already there as we had been getting emails and signs up since day one. The American winter also gave us the opportunity to explore a little bit outside our borders, so coming to Australia during its summer was a natural step and we’ve had a great reception,” said Bunim.
The app has over 10,000 downloads in Australia so far, with 2,500 hours booked across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
With the tag line “Escape locally”, Swimply allows users to book a local private pool by the hour, aiming to make pools more accessible, no matter how far or crowded the beach or local pool may be.
“Swimply helps people escape locally and enjoy the benefits of a private pool. It provides pool owners with the opportunity to earn enough to cover their maintenance costs,” said Bunim.
Bunim described Australians as “early adopters” of the currently booming sharing economy.
Research by the Sharing Hub has revealed that 1 in 10 Australians earn around $1,100 a month within the sharing economy, with 70% of earners using it to help supplement their income.
“The last decade has seen huge growth for the sharing economy thanks to pioneers such as Uber and Airbnb. These companies have disrupted the status quo, changing our behaviour towards sharing assets on a mainstream scale,” said Bunim.
Bunim spoke of future goals, including making Swimply the “go-to platform for gaining access to local escapes, not only pools.”