Summer temperatures can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit here in Austin, Texas, so I search often for places to swim. Fortunately, this city delivery. West of center, for example, you will find the oldest swimming pool in the state, a city-owned place called Deep Eddy. Venture farther from the city, and you will land on Travis Lake, a great one body of water frequented by people who fish e double- bridge barges with slides that partygoers can take down in water.
But one I swim option Had I never thought about it, much less tried? My neighbors backyard pool, offered up for rent through a mobile app.
This is the gist of Swimply, a service for I swim pools founded in the summer of 2018. After hearing about it, I had to schedule a swim. Fast forward to a Sunday afternoon in July, and I who enter with caution in a surface surface of a stranger pool shaded by tall pecan trees. A giant unicorn with a rainbow mane was waiting for me.
Swimply was born from an idea of co-founders Asher Weinberger, 35, and Bunim Laskin, 24, who met in a network event Weinberger hosted for entrepreneurs in New York City. Laskin, then a college student, launched Weinberger on the idea of monetize home I swim pools.
The couple pursued the idea by trying on Google Earth for homes with pools and knock on doors to see if people would be willing to rent them out. After creating a simple website and watching thousands of people visit strangers pools in just a few weeks, they decided to build a business.
Swimply is today in all 50 US states, Canada and Australia, hosting half one million users and about 13,000 pools. Weinberger says sees the service as an experiential “extension” of the sharing economy, “offering things people wantrather than things people need. This contrasts withfor example, transportation by Uber or hospitality by Airbnb.
Themarked a big moment for Swimply, Weinberger says. The app had just experienced a winter season with little activity and the pandemic caused a huge wave of financial uncertainty. “THE term sheet have been withdrawn. We were out of money. not know what would have been, “Weinberger says.
How it turned out, people They were all in for rent private Swimply poolse experienced nearly 5,000% growth year over year from 2019 to 2020, according to Weinberger.
“We have become profitable [and] That attracted venture capital “, Weinberger says. “We have lifted a Serie A for a few months back for 10 million dollars. The team it’s gone from two people to close at 70 people. “
Weinberger says Swimply it was in able to fill a need on both of the market. Not just the service help those who rent out pools to pay for their spending during the pandemic, but it provided an outlet for people stuck in home, he says.
Take the plunge
My backyard oasis in rent was by chance in a leafy East Austin flanked neighborhood with extravagant houses of all sizes. It was listed on Swimply like a “dip” pool, “which is a smaller one pool meant for wading and relaxing, and measured 8 feet by 15 feet with a maximum depth of 6 feet (1.83 meters). At $ 20 an hour, it was cheaper expensive from full-cut pools in the area, which one can cost more of $ 100 per hour to rent. The average rent cost for a Swimply pool in the United States costs 40 to 45 dollars an hour, Weinberger says.
When I clicked on the list, I have been in able to scroll a series of photos of the pool, including imaginative aerial shots. There was a place for reviews, and the place I booked, with nearly 50, had a media of five stars. “Clean, private, and easy to access, ” one wrote the swimmer. Another said, “It was seriously ONLY what the doctor ordered.” Another nearby pool it didn’t go so well, with some customers cite an inhospitable guest and a “not ideal, but … feasible” request to limit the use of the bathroom in the house.
There were also services. With Airbnb, I might see a hair dryer, TV, or washing machine, but this ad featured pool toys.
Sean Ables and Bronwyn Towart, my hosts, have started renting out they pool with Swimply last summer. Since then, they have seen guests book the pool for picnics, birthday parties and swimming lessons. One person even shot a rap music video, Ables says, laughing when asked if he made a cameo. He gave the couple the chance meet someone of they pool-less neighbors who i am looking forward to escape Texas heat.
“One of the neighbors came and used the pool, and I guess they all told it in their block, because we started taking them all people and I’m like, ‘Oh, we live in [house number] 1908 or us live in 1903, ‘”said Ables.
Ables said the couple practically alone use the pool themselves to cool off off after exercise. When they listed their place last summer, in the thick of the pandemic, said he received a “crazy” number of reservations. People appreciated having something safe to do outside of the house.
“They would bring their children and leave them just run off all their energy because they had been to home all day “, Towart says.
Weinberger, who hosts his swimming pool on the platform, says the connections are a big part of swim.
“The bottom line is that we are building bridges between communities, people I’m building friendships in their local areas, and this is extremely important, “he says.
My announcement is allowed for a full reimbursement up to 24 hours before start time of the reservation and had a couple of house rules (no pets, no smoking, limit music during work hours). It also included access in a bathroom, a feature more pools offer, notes Weinberger.
I was told via the app to enter through a gate on the right side of the house, which was left to open. Skillful he was in the courtyard and greeted me briefly before leaving me and my boyfriend at the small salt water pool. The first the thing I did was do mine way to a large brown chest and grab pool noodles, water guns and a beach ball. (Yes, I was about to take mine money’S worth.)
The pool, surrounded by trees, it was a bit cold in late afternoon. So after some water gun sandblasting, wading and some unsuccessful attempts to sit comfortably on the giant float, we sunk down in some chairs on the deck to dry off.
Acquisition of the courtyard
There were a few moments during my stay in which my mind wandered to people in the house I did not know. I thought about it who were they, and what was it? like for them to have strangers who take them regularly over their backyard. Were they worried that I was knocking? over one of plants in vase of the bouquet? Taking off with the mythical-looking float? But for for the most part, my attention was tuned to swimming and I got wet up what I felt like an ordinary pool day.
When I spoke to Ables later, Swimply told me added insurance to the app this year, making it safer for them to rent out they space. Weinberger said Swimply has $ 1 million insurance policy for hosts and offers up to $ 10,000 in property damage coverage.
After this summer, Weinberger has big plans. The Swimply team it is going further pools, and has a wait list called Joyspace, where thousands of people they are signed up offer them home gyms, home theaters, private tennis courts e home music Education.
Meanwhile, as August starts ticking and the heat choices up in Austin, that’s cool know a legion of pools wait for me on my phone, offering more places than I expected escape hot summer afternoons.
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