Parallel 18 alum HOKALI to open operations in Puerto Rico by December
HOKALI — an application that helps schedule classes with sports teachers — one of startup accelerator parallel18’s successful projects, will expand services to the island by mid-December with its surfing lessons to beach areas like Rincón and downtown San Juan.
The app currently is dedicated to surfing, but the expectation is to add kite surfing, scuba diving, among others, all associated with the water sports category in states like Florida, California and most recently, Hawaii. And, by 2023 their idea is to launch the third sport, which the developers told News is my Business they are deciding between snowboarding or skiing.
Throughout their mission, they started to involve communities in ways to connecting with nature through beach cleanups, and they even offer a free class in exchange and donate some earnings to environmental organizations.
For that aspect of the operation, HOKALI is currently looking to establish a partnership with an environmental nonprofit organization to continue carrying out their beach cleanings in Puerto Rico and expect to be able to expand to other countries with an investment round they are working on.
“Currently, we’re also being supported by private investors, we’re also supported by Hawaii, since we open operations there in the next week. And we’re also conducting a $1 million investment round by the end of the year,” said Ignacio Viau, co-founder of HOKALI.
“This with the aim of expanding HOKALI to other countries, such as Australia and more than the United States to be able to expand to other sports,” he said.
As for the price of classes and gear, they vary by market, but he said those offered in Puerto Rico will be some of the cheapest on the market.
“In San Diego the costs vary between $100, including the gear and the private class, so in Puerto Rico it would be at a lower cost,” it was explained.
HOKALI was created in San Fransisco, California after their learned how difficult it was to find a surfing coach. Normally, surfing businesses are “very traditional” and it is very difficult to schedule a class online.
With their efforts to innovate the surfing industry, their services help more specific areas from, beginners, to intermediate to advance from young people to adults. In their process, the company’s recruiting method also evolved to a more efficient reach.
“We started with a model through which they hired independent instructors, but now we are with a hybrid model. Not only independent instructors, but we also look for schools,” said Viau.
“The process is very simple, they need the necessary documentation such as having a CPR course, first aid and after a test class, we evaluate it and if the coach is approved, they immediately begin to teach on the platforms,” said Viau.