Gone are the days when you could just roll with the crew to play basketball after the bell rings. Nowadays, it seems like there’s much more work involved: tracking everyone down, figuring out a time that works for everyone and a location convenient for everyone, can be a pain in the neck.
Huddlers is a mobile app that allows recreational sports users to easily schedule and organize games with friends. That means deciding on a location, finding mutually available times, and sending out invitations, confirmations, and reminders.
Currently, the most common methods of organizing these recreational games are lengthy Facebook threads or email chains dedicated to figuring out who’s available at what time, and which location is preferred or convenient for everyone. It can be a painfully convoluted process.
Cofounder Adam Epstein certainyl sees it that way: “That is the behaviour that we’re trying to disrupt – because invariably that is what everyone we know uses to organize the sports they play. Software enhances so many facets of our lives, except for the sports that we play. We developed an app to change that.”
Epstein and his cofounder, Ata Namvari, are both members of their target market. Both of them have joined and organized recreational sports teams and leagues. They’ve also played around the world. “At the end of the day, we are solving a problem for ourselves, there just so happens to be many, many, others out there that experience the same problem and share our passion for playing sports with friends,” he explained to Techvibes.
In addition to organizing games, Huddlers takes care of collecting payments and fees incurred by the recreational sport or league. Again, this is still usually done through email or at the actual venue. Such an arrangement is reminiscent of the end of a large group meal where a restaurant doesn’t split receipts – leaving it to the guests to divide up the bill themselves. Huddlers will remove that pain point from the recreational sports experience.
Backed by angel funding, Huddlers is looking to soon raise some additional funding to continue growing the company.
Epstein explains that the goal of Huddlers is to build “serendipitous athletic experiences” with the data that they collect; which users will be compatible with each other, and where the best recreational sports experiences are held. Currently, the app makes use of location, calendar and contacts information.
Eventually, they plan to incorporate the camera via photo and video sharing, and wearable technology (e.g., the Nike Fuelband or Jawbone Up), so that users can see how hard they (and their friends) work during the sports game.
Huddlers joins the ranks of other startups dedicated to connecting people through real-world exercise and sports, such as RosterBot and Tribesports. If you enjoy recreational sports, check out Huddlers for the iPhone and iPad. They will go international in a couple of weeks and have an Android app ready by the end of summer.