How badly do you need a spot? For the average fitness consumer looking for someone to bench with or go on a 14er has become as easy as a 60-second download.
Launched in 2015 by an avid tennis player, a new tool called Bvddy hopes to connect sports players that share similar active passions (be it basketball, yoga, soccer, running, etc).
On June 22, 2016 Bvddy closed $1.5 million pre-series A capital funding to expand its technology to new cities. The investment was led by a high profile Latin American investor, IDC Group (Groupo IDC) and former BlueKite CEO/current PayPal executive Bobby Aitkenhead. Prior to closing its pre-Series A round, the company raised $715,000 in seed and angel financing to develop its technology and test the concept within the sports community.
“It’s a significant challenge for adult sports players to find other people to play the sports they love with, and it can be particularly hard to find others at the same level of skill and experience,” said Bvddy Founder and CEO Pedro Ast. “I experienced this first hand as an athlete.” Ast has even taken to the app’s iTunes page to share a five-star review of his platform saying, “I’m always looking for more people to play sports. So easy to use and meet ppl.”
According to Ast’s LinkedIn profile, the young entrepreneur has been dabbling in the creation and launching of mobile apps for close to five years now.
Consumers may be quick to liken the health & fitness Bvddy app to match-up dating tools like Tinder or Bumble, but before the hailstorm of ridicule, remember that it can be hard making friends, especially those who are equally as jazzed to run sprints on a Saturday morning.
However, Bvddy’s functionality is quite similar to its dating comrades, where the user browses through a series of profiles to either “skip” or “buddy up!” for an activity. Once paired, both users have the option to start messaging or continue browsing for other active Cinderellas.
Depending on how the tool is developed, and whether Ast sees brand and retailer partnerships as a possibility on the horizon, the active lifestyle industry should also be excited about the tool’s expansion because a) it builds communities through sports 2) has the potential to bring new users to new activities and 3) could be a nifty advertising platform and way for retailers to spread the word on local events— Bvddy technology uses distance proximity for each personal profile and allows users to discover public or private sporting events.
As for how Bvddy picks your fitness soul mate? Smart Matching algorithms learn about players over time, including how often they play, location, actual skill level, punctuality and competitive spirit, to constantly provide matches.
New expansion plans include a launch on Android and in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and a few more.