It can get be tough staying active in NYC. No one likes the subways, gyms are expensive, and honestly how many times can you do Yoga-To-The-People before needing a change of scenery. With Wooter you can expand your horizons with Skydiving or Exotic Car Driving Experiences, or stay conventional and find basketball, soccer, and flag football leagues. With hundreds of vendors across New York (and even some in Jersey), you will always be able to find a close by new activity to diversify how you exercise.
Today we chat with, Alex Aleksandrovski, CEO/Founder, to discuss the the state of sports activities in NYC, his startup, and its future.
Tell us about the product or service.
Wooter is New York’s largest online sports and activities resource. On Wooter, customers can find activities ranging from joining a basketball league to tennis lessons to a day spent driving exotic sports cars. Coaches, leagues & facilities (merchants) list all of the services they have to offer on our platform. Once a customer finds the sport or activity that they want to do, they can buy it straight from Wooter.
How is it different? Why another social network?
Wooter is the largest sports and activities marketplace in New York, with more than 1,000 activities to choose from. We are the one stop shop for sports leagues, fun experiences, and more. You can find any sport in your area by filtering for preferred distance, price, age, gender, and schedule. The ease and simplicity of Wooter’s search platform is unmatched in the current market.
In addition, we are also an all-in-one solution for merchants. Wooter offers a simple way to attract new customers and retain existing ones with powerful tools such as payment processing, a two-way booking system, a management dashboard and free marketing. We save our merchants over $10,000 a year!
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Wooter seeks to be the best resource for all sports and recreational activities. The sports and activities marketplace in the United States is more than $130 billion with more than 15 million adults and 35 million youth are involved in sports leagues.
What is the business model?
At this time, Wooter is completely free for users and our merchants. When a customer joins a sports league or purchases an activity through Wooter, the merchant only has to pay for the payment-processing fee, and that’s it! In the coming future, we will implement our own marketplace fee, but that is not our primary focus right now. We want to grow the community as fast as possible. We’re thinking big picture!
What inspired the business?
Every idea begins with a problem. My cofounder Alex Kagan, and I discovered that we were in an endless search when attempting to join a soccer league. Not only was the entire process time consuming and inefficient, but it was also tiresome and frustrating as well. Google searches were frustrating because of erroneous or dead links, and the actual sign up required phone calls and numerous in-person visits to evaluate and compare different leagues. Wooter was created to solve this problem, enabling players and leagues to find each other in one place.
According to your data, what are the most popular activities in NYC?
Now that the season is shifting into the fall, we’re seeing a big spike in interest in the major fall sports – basketball, flag football, soccer, and softball.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
In addition to increasing our inventory of activities on the site, we plan to add 150 sports leagues, helping the league owners easily manage their business and communications with their players.
What is the one piece of business advice that you never got?
How willing people are to help. You don’t expect it when you start a business, but we’ve been impressed and shocked by how people have gone out of their way to express support and lend a hand. People genuinely want you to be successful.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Our team is highly interested in collaborating with Carmelo Anthony’s VC fund, Melo 7 Tech. As two of newest tech-focused players in the market: Wooter and Melo 7 Tech could share a mutually beneficial relationship. Melo 7 Tech invests in seed stage deals and is known to be involved in helping entrepreneurs develop their brand and product. To make the partnership even more appropriate, Wooter is in the realm of business Carmelo specializes in: sports. Our team has built a breakthrough product that resonates heavily with consumers especially athletes.
It definitely doesn’t hurt that Wooter is based in New York and Melo also represents the New York Knicks – our favorite sports team.
Why did you launch in New York?
We’re New York natives. We love this city, and want to create a solution to huge market inefficiency. Building a strong startup community enables New York to continue to be the most dynamic city in the world. That’s the kind of city we want to raise our kids in, and we hope our success inspires the next generation of entrepreneurs.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Peter Lugers – a classic.