Time to Startup!

The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.

San Francisco Startup Works as a Marketplace for Experiences

Published on Dec 14, 2010

Summary

Read our article, 'San Francisco Startup Works as a Marketplace for Experiences' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
As far as web startups go, most tend to glue users to their screens, clicking away at user profiles and the latest shared buying offer. But a new San Francisco startup does quite the opposite. Skyara is essentially a marketplace for experiences, wherein users offer their own services and skills and other users buy those experiences or lessons with 12 percent of the transaction going to Skyara. Some examples include lessons in marksmanship, extreme kiting, Army fitness training, culinary tours and then some more obscure experiences such as tea with MC Hammer and angel investor Ron Conway. "We built Skyara with the concept that everyone has something interesting to share, whether it's a fun hobby, job or a skill that other people would be interested to learn," co-founder Jonathan Wu told the Los Angeles Times. "Most people offering experiences are not doing it for the money. They are doing it to share their hobbies and have some fun and meet new people." The company - not even a year old - is in its testing phase in San Francisco, but already the service has caught the attention of investors and potential customers alike, earning acceptance into the startup incubator I/O Ventures to help the company get incorporated. One feature has caught on faster than the founders had anticipated: the option of donating the experience's payment to charity. Wu recently told VentureBeat that 80 percent of Skyara's bookings have been donated to charity.