The round was led by Fred Tillman, one of the most successful commercial construction contractors in Central Texas, as well as a diverse group of angel investors.
E-based Cincinnati W Uh, The Scripps Company, which last year invested $1 million, also participated in this round. The company plans to leverage the investment to increase its market growth in the Austin Metro area and begin targeted national expansion.
Besomebody, who has grown organically over six years from the hashtag to the blog to the Worldwide Motivational Movement, has recently completed a successful Beta launch of an iPhone app that lets people learn everything they love by booking Experiences with talented people around them. The early launch, which took place in Austin, Texas, took almost 30,000 downloads in three months, with over 400 experiences taught by more than 200′ Passionaries. ‘Passionaries-teachers on the platform-are independent business owners who set the prices and parameters of their experience on the app. Users book directly from their phones, then both parties meet in person for a hands-on experience. Experiences range from learning to ride a bike or a mountain bike to learning to paint or play a piano.
‘The three most inspiring words in learning are courses, classes and curricula,’ said Kash Shaikh, Founder and CEO of Besomebody, Inc. ‘The best way to learn is through an inspiring experience with talented people. We have built a passionate, global community of artists, athletes, entrepreneurs and adventurers who have taught us that traditional learning paths are not right for everyone. So we are creating a new one ”
Shaikh believes that a new path is needed to address the stagnating education system and the emerging student debt crisis. Student debt has reached a record high of over $1. 2 trillion, weighing up the dreams and holding back the ambitions of millions of people across the country. The debt is projected to grow to $6 trillion over five years. More than 70% of students graduate from high school with significant debt and enter one of the most challenging and lowest paying job markets of our generation.
‘People take classes they don’t care about getting majors they never intend to use, without even thinking about the opportunity cost of wasted time, energy and resources,’ said Shaikh. ‘When you lay on the unshakeable weight of student debt that saddles three out of four graduates, it becomes insurmountable for a lot of people. We’re creating a passion-centered, experience-rich path to an evolving American Dream. ”
But it’s not just those who learn that benefit from Besomebody’s platform. The marketplace model that Shaikh dubs the Passion Economy enables people to make money by doing what they love as long as they are willing to teach others. The top Passionaries are currently generating more than $3,000 per month of incremental income, hoping to increase that amount as the platform grows. Besomebody’s revenue comes from a 20% transaction fee for each booked experience.
“Teaching has historically been one of the most undervalued professions in our society. Teachers are some of the lowest-paid, hardest-working and most passionate people you’ll ever meet. On our platform, the best teachers-coaches and instructors and guides-make the most money. The Passionaries who are willing to give the most are going to get the most. And that’s a lovely model ”
Currently, most of the experience booked has been in the field of Adventure and Outdoor Sports, which led to the company’s announcement last week of a partnership with REI’s Outdoor School, the nation’s largest outdoor education provider. This partnership, which begins with a pilot in Austin, enables users to book exclusive, one-on-one experiences with REI instructors to learn activities such as paddleboarding, backpacking and rock climbing.
Fitness, art and music experiences are also very popular on the platform. The company plans to expand the Experience market to Houston and Los Angeles in the next nine months. The Android app is scheduled to launch later this year.
About someone, Inc.
#Besomebody is the fastest-growing and most far-reaching Motivational Movement in the world, with online and social content now connecting nearly 5 million people in 180 countries. Earlier this year, the company created the world’s first mobile platform to connect people with shared passions. The platform is a social marketplace where users can learn anything they’re passionate about by booking experiences with talented people around them. People who host learning experiences, called Passionaries, are paid directly and securely through their mobile phones. Together, we are creating the World Platform for Passion
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