Atlanta, Georgia is a small, technological hub and Spots is a brand new home-sharing app helping to grow the Empire of the South. Spots enables college students to travel on a budget, make new friends in town, and easily accessed through mobile devices. What is Spots exactly? To best explain, you should first meet the founder and CEO, Yanni Barghouty.
Yanni is an engineer during the day and party animal by night. He is driven, hardworking and when it’s time to make moves, likes to get up and go. Yanni is currently enrolled at Georgia Tech and may not be much longer by the success rate of his app.
In May of 2015, Yanni asked himself “Why isn’t there an Uber equivalent for housing?” Airbnb is currently the major home-sharing company but bookings are typically over $1,000 and used for family vacations. Over eighty-percent of users are over the age of 30 leaving about 55.5 million students in both the US and Europe in need of a tailored alternative. Yanni made this realization, exposing the biggest hole in the homesharing market. He took the idea of subsidized housing, popular in Europe, blended it with the accessibility of ordering an Uber and wallah! Spots was created.
“The way Spots is supposed to work is that anywhere you want to go, on a whim, you should be able to go.” – Yanni Barghouty
The birth of Spots is much similar to the beginning of Facebook. Yanni teamed up with his friend Edoardo who helped fundraise a hefty sum in starting capital. Spots only targets college students and now, the team is lead by the young entrepreneurs. Spots has hit the triple digit point in their user base and continues to grow.
The success of Spots isn’t due simply to the fact that it caters to young and hip millennials but that it has an inherent utility for its users. Case in point, Yanni’s first use of the app happened by accident. In March of this year, Yanni arranged a meeting with the CEO of Gallup on short notice. Yanni flew out to DC the day after arranging the meeting without booking a hotel. He figured he would have the meeting and fly back the same day. Unfortunately, a big snow storm hit the east coast. Not only was his meeting canceled but Yanni was stuck in DC.
Yanni calls Karan, one of Spots co-founders, and asks “what should I do?” Karan semi-jokingly replies “check Spots and see if we have anyone in DC.” Spots is still in its early stages and Yanni was unsure whether or not Spots had reached the DC area. To his surprise, it did and Yanni’s app helped him find a local not too far from the Airport. Yanni sent the local a request and 15 minutes later received a push notification from the app, and a text message from the host. “Hey, I’d be happy to host you for the next few days and show you around town if you’d like.”
Spots is an easy to use app with a community feel to it. Currently, the app is only available to college students and you must have an email ending with .edu to download the app. Along with connecting users’ social media accounts, such as Facebook, this is meant to give users a higher level of trust and security amongst each other.
Spots allows users to travel on a budget and be micro entrepreneurs. Students can rent out rooms, couches, hammocks, or whatever and they think is ideal for events such as the upcoming football season, concerts and festivals, or just plain old adventuring.
Search Spots Travel and download today in the Apple App Store and visit their site. http://apple.co/1O9usUY for more information.