Having partnered early with Logan Green and John Zimmer of Lyft as well as Manish Chandra and his team at Poshmark, we are big believers in the sharing economy. These companies, along with Airbnb, are sharing economy pioneers who innovated around ridesharing, social commerce, and travel. Today we are excited to announce that we have led a $40 million Series A and partnered with Bunim Laskin and Asher Weinberger, co-founders of Swimply, whose vision is to pioneer a new era in the sharing economy, that of going beyond transactional interactions to power local experiences which bring communities closer together.
Similar to Logan and John whose vision was to improve people’s lives by providing the best transportation and Manish and team whose vision was to create the category of social commerce, Bunim and Asher have a big vision for Swimply. They plan to grow it into the go-to marketplace that helps homeowners share passion spaces with their local communities and democratizes access to joyful spaces that are typically reserved for the well-to-do.
The company was founded in 2018 with its first target as the swimming pool sharing market, estimated at $52B. Since then, Swimply has grown into the category leader, and has just concluded a banner year during which it grew in hosts, usage, and most importantly, community engagement. With Bunim and Asher’s aspiration to expand to other outdoor and indoor *joyspaces* such as hot tubs, tennis courts, barbecue pits, home gyms and the like, their journey has just begun.
Swimply embodies some of our core beliefs as a people-first investor including:
Mission and values count
Bunim is a 24 year old first-time founder who started Swimply from his lived experience of accessing a neighbor’s pool to provide his 11 younger siblings a safe and healthy summer they otherwise couldn’t afford. Asher brings experience as an entrepreneur, business leader and a pool owner himself.
Together they have united behind their vision of expanding the realms of the sharing economy and creating a new category within local experiences. Swimply is democratizing ownership of recreational space by allowing hosts to share underutilized assets with their communities, giving easy access to those in need.
Every passion needs a space and Swimply aims to connect passionate people with incredible spaces in which they can celebrate, create and escape with the people they love, in a way they could never have before.
Startups die of indigestion, not starvation
Bunim and Asher have been hyper focused initially on fulfilling community needs for accessing water-based joyspaces. They started with pool sharing as it was an underutilized asset (similar to John’s insight about cars) with 96% of people having no access to pools despite it being the #1 family rated activity, while pools are unused 95% of the time. They rolled out the well known repeatable marketplace playbook, similar to how Poshmark nurtured its seller stylists, by providing hosts booking tools, liability insurance, and complete control over how they welcomed guests. As a result, hosts are not only earning 10s of 1000s of dollars, but a 4.5 star host satisfaction rating and five star user ratings has underscored how this is an emotionally rewarding vs. transactional experience. At the same time, their marketing costs are low as repeat guests are organically recommending the experience and bringing friends along. Today, Swimply has grown into an innovative experience for family getaways, pool parties, exercise, photo shoots, pet swims, and more. 2021 was a banner year on all fronts: they put 1 million people inside pools; booked 250k hours; activated 15k pools; and their top host earned over $200k.
Company building is a marathon, not a sprint
Bunim and Asher inspired us with their vision to build a new category of user experiences which combine the marketplace efficiency of Airbnb or Poshmark, generate more revenue with a lower time commitment than Lyft or Instacart, while forging stronger bonds in local communities. We believe this vision, the founders passion, and their proven business model will allow Swimply to grow into a vanguard of the new era of the sharing economy.
We welcome Swimply to the Mayfield family, along with our co-investors from Norwest, GGV Capital, Ensemble Ventures, and angel investors including Manish Chandra/Poshmark, Brad Bao/Lime, Casey Winters/Pinterest, Fidji Simo/Instacart, and Robert Chestnut/Airbnb.