Move expands Utivity’s national presence while allowing Besomebody to focus on its new Learning Paths – vocational training programs that connect candidates with jobs
Denver, CO (February 9, 2017) – Besomebody Inc., a global platform that helps people live their passion through inspiration, advice, community and careers, has sold its Experiences Marketplace to Utivity Holdings Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Launched in late 2014, Besomebody’s Experience Marketplace – anchored by the award-winning #besomebody app – enabled thousands of people nationwide to book and host experiences across more than 400 different passion areas, including art, fitness, sports and adventure. Utivity will gain access to Besomebody’s large user and provider base across Texas, California and New England, as well as to their substantial international footprint.
Launched in late 2015, Utivity has experienced rapid growth across the Rocky Mountain region. In the Denver-metro area alone, they’ve helped more than 2,000 experience providers earn more than $200K doing what they love. The acquisition will more than double their user base and jumpstart their expansion plans. Utivity’s founders first learned about Besomebody after the company’s appearance on the popular Reality TV show, ‘Shark Tank.’
“We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Besomebody to help people discover unique experiences, and make money doing what they love,” Kyle Granowski, Utivity Co-Founder & CEO, said. “The Besomebody team has done an incredible job building a huge community of people who want to get out, and do more. We’ve had our eyes on them for a while, and the timing was finally right to make something happen. As Besomebody moves forward with their focus on education and employment, we’re honored to be the premier platform where people come for activities and adventure.”
The acquisition comes on the heels of Besomebody’s new Learning Paths launch – vocational training programs that teach candidates the specific skills they need to succeed in specific jobs. The Paths are experienced 100% in-person and are taught by industry professionals. The curriculum is co-created with the hiring employers, ensuring that candidates learn exactly what is necessary to do well in the workplace. Candidates that meet the performance requirements are guaranteed a job with the endorsing employer. Besomebody is currently piloting Paths with select U.S. companies in high-growth industries like Healthcare, Hospitality and Energy.
“There are two crises colliding right now,” Besomebody Founder & CEO, Kash Shaikh said. “The student debt crisis and the skilled worker crisis. College is more expensive than ever, and job placement rates for college graduates continue to decline. On the other hand, a lot of companies have a lot of open jobs, but can’t find people with the right skills to fill them. With millions of people jobless, in debt, or both, we are passionate about building a solution. We have spent the last three years bringing people together for learning and skills training, and now we can’t wait to leverage that expertise to help get Americans back to work.”
Besomebody will retain all of its branding, trademarks and community assets, while transitioning its experience hosting and booking strategies, services and data to Utivity. Besomebody will also help Utivity tap into its expansive partner network, enabling exceptional organizations such as RAW Artists, Sid Yoga and the World Wake Association offer their members an exciting avenue to book, host and monetize experiences. Shaikh will also join Utivity’s Board of Advisors to assist with transition and growth plans.
There are more than 1,000 unique experiences offered on Utivity’s platform, from archery and basketball, to wakeboarding and yoga. Outdoor and adventure activities are the most popular experiences, particularly in nature-loving Colorado. The company will look to build upon that outdoor base as it begins to scale nationally. The majority of experiences are booked on their website, though Utivity recently launched both iOS and Android applications to enable broader user engagement.
“We started this company with one goal: empower both instructors and doers to experience every activity under the sun, Granowski said. “The acquisition of Besomebody’s Experience Marketplace allows us to pursue that goal with an extremely talented instructor base while expediting our growth efforts. Too often, the coolest and most unique talents are either unknown or impossible to find. We believe our expansion efforts will make it easier for people to find these activities, and make it more rewarding for the instructors that teach them. The Besomebody community is going to be a big part of our platform, and we can’t wait to continue building with them.”
After bursting onto the Austin tech scene in 2014, Besomebody’s Experience Marketplace quickly became one of the most talked about apps of the year. It was touted as “life-changing” and a “must-have” by local press, and named as one of the apps that “might take over Facebook” by Entrepreneur. Yet while Besomebody closes one big chapter with this move, Shaikh says he’s more excited than ever for what lies ahead.
“Our community is our heart and soul,” Shaikh said. “And we’re so grateful to see those relationships continue to grow around the world through our content, our events and our social channels. We get to meet real people, and hear their real problems. That’s what drives us to try and solve them. All of that – and everything we’ve learned over the last three years – gives us the perfect foundation to take on this new challenge of skills training and job placement. If we can help get even one person off unemployment and into a job, we’ll have made a difference.”
“And for our passionate community of adventure seekers, I can’t think of a better partner than Utivity. They share the same vision we had when building our original Marketplace, and, more importantly, they are doing things the right way, for the right reasons. That’s always a winning formula.”
About Besomebody, Inc.
Besomebody, Inc. is a global platform to help people live their passion – inspiration, advice, community and careers. Besomebody’s motivational content reaches more than 10 million people in 180 countries through both online and offline engagement. Besomebody’s Learning Paths are vocational training programs that teach candidates the specific skills they need to succeed in specific jobs they are passionate about. Besomebody was founded by Kash Shaikh in 2014, after beginning as his personal blog in 2011.
Utivity is a Denver-based outdoor adventure platform that has established a stronghold in the outdoor activity and experiences segment. Utivity has grown rapidly by offering unique experiences and building community partnerships for the company’s provider and user base. The company’s mission is simple: enable people to Do More®, whether that means learning new activities or providing instruction for them, Utivity is providing the tools and resources to help promote a healthy and active lifestyle for all.