Necessity is the mother of invention. And this adage certainly rings true with Deemples, the brainchild of David Wong, who co-founded the app after finding himself struggling to find mates to play golf with.
According to David, who’s also the CEO of Deemples, “I tried looking for a solution online where I can just join games posted online, or create a game and let others join me, but couldn’t find it. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.”
Four years on and the Deemples app, which is downloadable for free from App Store or Google Play, has helped golfers find buddies across five countries in the Southeast Asian region, namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, The Philippines and Brunei – kind of like Uber or Tinder for golf.
Earlier this year, Deemples also launched a payment solution, Deemples Pay, offering golfers and golf courses a more convenient and efficient way to manage payments for games.
“Deemples Pay has been something golf courses and golfers have been waiting for, because it helps close the loop with booking a game of golf through the Deemples app. This means that golfers can find others to play with, book a slot at their preferred golf course and make upfront payments directly to golf courses to guarantee their slot. Now golfers can just focus on getting on with the game and golf courses can benefit from upfront payments.”
So what’s next for Deemples?
“After helping golf courses be able to accept payments upfront seamlessly from golfers for a year now, we realised that there’s still a bottleneck in the booking process between golfers and golf courses,” says David.
“The demand side (golfer-side) has already been automated with Deemples Pay allowing golfers to pay for their round anytime they wish with various payment options, this in addition to golfers using Deemples also to join/create games easily. However, the supply side (golf course) does not have an inventory management solution with an API that external platforms or even the golf course’s own website can connect to. Therefore, human beings are still required to manually manage bookings, which results in occasional overbooking, inefficient use of human resources, and only a limited time where bookings/revenue can be generated (which is whenever humans are working/about half a day).”
“What we think would help golf courses is a tee sheet that is easily accessible by all platforms, especially the golf course’s own website, but also other external travel platforms such as Agoda, Booking.com and TripAdvisor. The goal is to have golf courses automate their revenue, and get bookings anytime without the need for human interaction. When this happens, golf courses can increase yield, and reallocate human resources for more value-generating tasks than picking up the phone to do what simple technology can do.
“People have been used to this technology now for the last 10 years, buying movie tickets, airline tickets, and hotel rooms in the same way. Golf is exactly the same, finite inventory based on time. We’re just making accessible these technologies for golf courses to get them up to speed with other industries so that golf courses can move forward and avoid the awkward conversations of asking golfers to manually transfer money to bank accounts to confirm their booking. More work for the accounting and booking team, and definitely not the best user experience for golfers,” explains David.
In order to build such new features that will help both golfers and golf courses further, Deemples announced the Deemples Equity Crowdfunding campaign last month.
“In the last four years, we’ve helped over 25,000 golfers find each other, and play over 40,000 additional rounds of golf that they wouldn’t have, and also helped 10 golf courses accept payments upfront,” says David. “To continue our efforts, for this crowdfunding campaign, we for the first time are opening it up to all Deemples users, so that they too can own a part of the golf app that they use on a daily basis.”
With the addition of these new features, golfers would be able to find games and secure their slots easier, and golf courses would improve fill rates, increase yields, whilst reducing human resource costs.
“Deemples was built for golfers to help them find other golfers, find games whenever they want to play, and maintain a fair and trusted golf handicap. We wanted to not only let golfers benefit from using the app, but also have an opportunity to own the app that they use on a daily basis so that they can enjoy the economic benefits if Deemples does well in the long run,” says David.
He further explains that through the equity crowdfunding campaign, golfers would be able to own ordinary shares of Deemples up to 16% of the company for this investment round.
The equity crowdfunding campaign is live on pitchIN at https://pitchin.deemples.com/ until 23 Sept 2020, where golfers can own a piece of the Deemples action for as low as RM4,500.