Activity booking site EvenPanda combines Pinterest and Airbnb
May 21, 2012 by Terence LEE
What do you get when you combine two of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups and apply the concept to an entirely different vertical? You get EvenPanda.
Launching today, the Singapore-based site is an online activities marketplace that lets users sell experiences to customers. A sampling of activities include a Triathlon Starter Bootcamp, a tutorial on creative processes and design, and a Sunday brunch with Russian homemade pancakes.
Like Airbnb, hosts can decide what price they want to charge. Payment is also made through the site, and will only be released to the organizer after the event, once customers are satisfied. Listing an activity is free, but EvenPanda takes an 18 percent cut of transactions.
Unlike Airbnb however, EvenPanda appears to be stricter about the offers that go up on the site. All experiences are vetted by the EvenPanda team before they go live, after a chat with the host. But community moderation still matters — customers can leave reviews about activities they’ve participated in.
For activity seekers, they can browse the site’s Pinterest-like user interface, view at a glance the price and description of the event. They can “collect” events they’re interested in and browse them later at their convenience. Users with a good idea of what they want can search by category, location, price, and date of the activity.
The site currently has activities in Singapore, Bali, and Vienna, with plans to launch in other countries soon. EvenPanda is founded by Maria Kuvshinova, a Founder Institute Singapore graduate, and her husband Andries De Vos.
The idea of an ‘Airbnb for activities’ is not exactly new — San Francisco-based Skyara and Vayable, as well as Berlin’s Gidsy are companies with similar concepts, a testament to Airbnb’s successful business model, which generated a monthly revenue of US$1.5M as of early 2011.
The attraction of such services is that it offers travelers and locals many off-the-beaten-track activities that can’t be found in tour packages. Its also an easy way for hosts to generate additional income.
”We’ve learned that the sharing economy applies to many different kinds of verticals,” Airbnb founder Joe Gebbia told TheNextWeb. “But it’s in its nacent stage. We’re all just learning from each other right now.”
Airbnb could become a competitor itself — although there’s no indication at this point that they are venturing outside the short-term rental space either through developing their own sites or acquiring other startups.
EvenPanda will be having a booth at Echelon 2012. Organized by tech blog e27 for the third year running, Echelon 2012 is a key startup launchpad in Asia with over 1,100 delegates in attendance and 50 startups exhibiting in the Marketplace. Check out SGE’s coverage of Echelon 2012.
Find out more about SGE’s research arm: SGE Insights, providing customized in-depth research reports to help you navigate the business of technology in Asia.
About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE