Online marketplaces seem to be increasingly the rage, as startups look to simplify the process of finding instructors or contractors in a variety of areas. Skiing is no different and Swiss startup CheckYeti has created a marketplace that will allow winter-sports enthusiasts to find the ideal skiing or snowboarding instructor for when they visit one of the local resorts.
Once you visit the CheckYeti page, users are able to search for ski instructors by location. Clicking on a particular location, you are presented with a number of instructors and can search by skiing-style, price, language spoken, or rating. I found the aspect of languages spoken to be particularly interesting because, although English is often used as a lingua franca, many people might not be quite comfortable using it and would like to find an instructor who can offer lessons while using a language more suitable to the customer.
CheckYeti only launched in Q1 of this year, so they have not gained a significant amount of traffic yet. CEO Stefan Pinggera, who created this business with co-founder Georg Reich, says that they have 100 service providers at this point, but notes that ski season is only now starting.
CheckYeti is startup which has emerged as a project of passion, as the 2 co-founders are avid skiers and wanted develop a company based on one of their favorite hobbies. Pinggera says that they founder current businesses out there to be lacking, so they decided to just go ahead and create their own.
Last week, Bulgarian micro seed fund LAUNCHub announced that they have backed their latest batch of six startups with up to 200K Euro and CheckYeti was one of the lucky companies to receive backing. You don’t often hear about partnerships between Swiss startups and Bulgarian investors, so I asked Pinggera why they opted for this funding and he told me that, although they initially self-funded, they decided to seek outside investment and found that LAUNCHub was the right choice because they enjoyed the latter’s seed camp and felt a solid connection with their team.
Right now, they are looking to establish themselves in Austria and Switzerland, but Pinggera says that they are eventually hoping to expand across Europe.