French startup Diveboard was at TechCrunch Disrupt SF for day one of Startup Alley today, demoing its social network and e-commerce platform aimed at the thriving and avid niche of community of divers. According to the company, the market is worth approximately $2 billion annually in Queensland, Australia, alone, where the Great Barrier Reef draws plenty of tourists.
Diveboard lets users create profiles and then upload their dive history and information for each dive, reviewing dive spots and providing videos and pictures. They also review dive shops as well, so that you get a good idea of which shops to trust and book with, something that previously wasn’t available in any organized way on the web.
“We have a great community of more than 10,000 divers, and almost 80,000 dives have been logged on the website so far,” co-founder Pascal Manchon explained in an interview. “We’ve been in business for about a year, and we’ve had lots of growth and traction among both divers and among dive shops.”
It’s free to sign up for Diveboard for both divers and for dive shops, but the revenue for the startup is based on offering value-add marketing services for dive shops via premium plans. Diveboard also works as a fully featured e-commerce platform for dive shops, allowing proprietors of those businesses to bring their businesses to the web. Most of these types of shops barely have an online presence at all, Manchon explained, and almost none have any kind of online booking process. Diveboard automates the process of setting up on online shop, providing a simple embeddable widget to show owners to place back on their own sites.
Currently, Diveboard is in the process of building a next-generation mobile app, that adds many more social features (the current version is basically for divers to revisit their trips). The next version will also help shops better show off their content, fulfilling that side as well. The other big plan for the future of Diveboard is building relationships with other ecosystem companies like hotels and service providers that tie into the diving trip experience, which should offer even more opportunity for revenue generation.
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