The startup called Playbook has its main focus to let you see what people around you are doing so you can join them offline. In fact, the company doesn’t want you to spend much time in the app at all. But what differentiates Playbook most is that the app is focused on college campuses.
Playbook founders (Luke Heine, Raphael Rouvinov, and Sean Sullivan) attended Harvard and Heine originally built the app to see where his friends would be over the summer. The original thought was that students could travel cheaply during the summer if they knew where there friends would be and could crash on the couch a few nights.
However with time Heine built out a rough website and expanded the Summer Playbook service to thirteen other schools while still attending Harvard, during which time he met Rouvinov.
In 2016, Heine and Rouvinov rebuilt the site from scratch and started work on an app. Instead of focusing primarily on summer travel plans, the app now focuses on what people are doing in their every day lives.
Once a user has signed up for the app, they can post their plans or plays to the rest of the people on campus using the app. Plays can range from going for a run to a party to studying in the library or simply grabbing lunch.
Heine says, “We saw an opportunity not around scheduling time in advance but spontaneously. We reckoned that while the 5 friends we message might not be able to play basketball in 15 minutes, someone on campus we know would, if only they knew not only that I was around but also that I wanted to play basketball.”
Last summer, around 2400 people from 230 universities across 126 countries signed up for the desktop site, with around 1600 conversations started. Since launching the app on February 11 of this year, there are 244 users on the app with 30 percent checking back every day.
Playbook has raised a total of $120K from Y Combinator.
It will be interesting to see how this slightly innovating social media idea works out with time.
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