The pandemic has closed public spaces across the world for months, and many public pools have been unable to serve their communities through the traditionally-busy summer months. Swimply is a company that thinks it has a solution.
What is Swimply and How Does It Work?
Put simply, Swimply is “Airbnb for pools” — homeowners with pools can rent them to others by the hour. Typical hourly rates range from $15-$300 per hour, depending on location, type of pool, and if other amenities like bathrooms and showers are offered. Similar to services like Airbnb that take a percentage of bookings, Swimply takes 15% of bookings and handles the booking and payment process for pool owners.
Pool owners can set a cap on how many people are allowed poolside at the same time, set rules for pool usage, and they can choose whether or not to allow alcohol. Renters pay an hourly fee and rate the experience, which is reflected on the owner’s profile. The entire rental process is contactless to facilitate safety for all parties involved.
Swimply Sees Massive Growth in Summer 2020
The company was founded in 2018 and said that Summer 2020 has been its biggest growth period to date. The service saw a 2,000% increase in growth this summer from people trying to get out of the house and cool off during the hot summer months. Swimply lists pools in 39 U.S. states as well as areas across Canada and Australia.
Asher Weinberger, cofounder of Swimply talked about the strong demand for the service in an interview with CNBC:
“We’ve seen demand skyrocket. We simply cannot keep up. There are people who are now desperate to get out of their homes. They’re working from home. There’s no school. There’s no camp. What are parents supposed to do with their kids?”Asher Weinberger, cofounder of Swimply
Swimply was founded with just $1 million in seed money and has not needed any additional money. The company said that a $3 million fundraising round was dropped as Covid-19 shook the economy, but ultimately they found a path to profitability. Growth in demand this summer means that the company is already profitable and scaling quickly.
Early indications show that renters are warming up to the idea of pool rental because it provides an escape in otherwise difficult times. Pool owners love the service because it offers an opportunity to make additional income — Weinberger said that some hosts make $20,000-$40,000 in a summer. Renters are asked to sign waivers.
Weinberger believes that pool owners could potentially earn more from hourly rates than Airbnb hosts who charge a fixed nightly rate. “This is not just — rent out your home for $200 bucks a night — you can make $1,000 – $2,000 a day, and that’s real money that’s not just paying for your pool’s upkeep but it’s even paying for your whole mortgage,” said Weinberger.