Every time I meet someone new and talk about TheGrint, questions always come up: How did it get started? What does TheGrint mean?
In June 2011, while working at a top consulting firm, I decided to take a 3 month sabbatical and work on my future venture. So I left my fancy job in Southern California and arrived to a small surfing town in Mexico called Puerto Escondido.
The concept was simple, decades ago (and some private clubs still do it) private clubs used to receive your scores in little wood boxes at the end of your round. You would deposit your scorecard there and someone would transcribe your scores and calculate your handicap. The idea was: “Can we replicate this concept with current tools?” Let’s create a Handicap Service to help golf clubs outsource their handicap service.
When I came back from Puerto, we had a basic website, basic features, draft of a logo (above) and a little hope. So I shared it with my foursome, and my golf friends. And little-hoped for a positive reaction…
So, I did get a positive reaction. A GREAT reaction I would say. They were more excited about sharing their game than the whole handicap thing. Why? I thought… That’s not why I built this thing!
Fast forward 1 year, June 2012 in South Florida, already met my (now) 2 co-founders, already quit our jobs , already frightened as hell but excited as kids with our mission: Improving how we enjoy our golf world…
As you can imagine, it became apparent that convincing golf club managers to pay for this service was an uphill battle. So we had to go direct to our consumer. But, How do you attract people? How do you build a sustainable business? … but most importantly, How do you disrupt the Golf Industry?!!!
We had to change our whole premise. We can’t just be a Golf Handicap Service… So what do we do?
“We will create a social platform for the golf industry. Attract golfers by offering amazing tools. And provide a Free USGA Handicap Index by crowd-sourcing our community”
So with a basic prototype we manage to convince our family and friends to believe in TheGrint! And, while we still don’t know if it was out of pity or real trust, our idea was funded and it became a real project. (Below a pic when we got to 1,000 users with our basic prototype. Seemed like a lot back then).
We used part of that money to build our beta website and apps, and the other part to market it. And test it. We built a 1) Score tracking tool, 2) Free Complaint Handicap Platform, 3) Full suite of Stats, 4) GPS Rangefinder for our apps, 5) Social tools and more.
We finally did our official launch in April 2014. And with our mission to create the best golf platform, and our commitment to add value to our community we decided that:
“100% of our PRO membership sales will be reinvested in Feature Development”
As you can imagine with that kind of promise, we are still not a profitable business. We are in a growth stage with our ass on the line. But with one mission in mind, to become the number one platform in golf.
One and a half years later we keep growing. We are now in the process of raising a second round of capital so we can continue to grow and execute our business plan until we become profitable.
Where are we headed? Who knows… we still have a lot of room to grow, and while we are still far from achieving our mission, with your help, we are a little closer every day…
Jose Torbay | Co-Founder TheGrint