Often described as the Airbnb for swimming pools, Swimply is a relatively new online platform for pool sharing. It connects owners of private pools with people looking to get their hands on one.
Swimply allows non-pool owners affordable access to an otherwise inaccessible luxury while allowing pool owners to earn an effortless, substantial income from their underutilized pools.
Bunim Laskin, then just 20, launched the Cedarhurst, New Yorkbased company in 2018, starting with just four pools in the New Jersey area.
Laskin, the eldest of 12 children, came up with the idea after years of borrowing his neighbors’ pools as a way of keeping his younger siblings entertained. Noticing that a neighbor’s pool was often empty, he asked if his family could use her pool. He suggested that his family could help cover her pool maintenance expenses in exchange for swimming.
Not long after, five other families were using her pool, and before long, she was actually making money from her neighbors.
The arrangement inspired a business idea for Laskin, and with the help of Asher Weinberger, Swimply was born.
“We used Google Earth to find houses, and then knocked on 80 doors with a pool,” CEO Laskin said. “We got to 100 pools organically. Word of mouth really helped us grow.”
In their first year, Swimply made 400 reservations and raised $1.2 million from friends and family.
In 2019, Swimply launched what Laskin calls a “proper” website and an app with an automated platform. Laskin estimates it grew “four to five times.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Swimply was primed and ready for what may have been the biggest private swimming season in history.
To ensure that pool owners did not have to interact with guests, the company restructured its offering.
“We were the perfect solution for people when the world was falling on its head. It was the perfect, contactfree, self-serve experience to hang out and be with people you quarantined with,” Laskin said.
Revenue grew 4,000% in 2020. Swimply is now operating in 125 U.S. markets, two markets in Canada, and five in Australia. Currently, the company is facilitating from 15,000 to 20,000 reservations a month.
It has taken off in part because it is simple and easy to use. People or families can rent the pools by the hour, for as low as $15 an hour, with an average of $45 per hour. Additional amenities, such as barbeques or tennis courts can boost the price tag.
They’ve added complimentary insurance to the platform for additional peace of mind: $1 million worth of insurance per booking for liability and $10,000 for property damage.
The company requires that the hosts provide a clean pool, and they’ve partnered with local pool companies. The pool companies will certify those pools for cleanliness and provide pool owners with a badge.
Swimply is not the only pool sharing platform, but it is certainly one of the most well-known and was the first of its kind for pools. Splacer and Peerspace are other platforms for space sharing, and these also offer pool sharing, in addition to providing potential wedding venues, meeting locations, and so much more. It’s a market Swimply is hopeful to enter next.
The Swimply Process