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August 6, 2019

A Disruptive Idea in the Sharing Economy

Would you be interested in pooling your money with your friends and family to save money on everyday services like cell phone plans, online subscriptions, dog walking, lawn mowing or other services?

If you could do this, you would not only be able to reduce your reoccurring expenses, but possibly be able purchase services and luxuries you may not typically be able to afford. Does this sound tempting to you?

Getting IN the Bubble has Benefits
In the burgeoning sharing economy, the yet to launch app, Bublenet is stepping in to provide a platform to make these kinds of financial transactions easier to manage. According to Muthukumar, the CEO of Bublenet, Millenials, immigrants, students and other groups are already part of this informal ecosystem. Bublenet will provide an app to make this process easier for these individuals to share payments among themselves, regardless of how far away they live from each other (within the US).

The idea behind this is that when individuals buy a service, it is more expensive than if a group could get together and potentially purchase the service in bulk, reducing the rate. The most well known example of this that is already somewhat common place, is purchasing mobile phone plans and sharing the cost among friends (the other examples listed above will come with time). For those already participating in this, they could use the app to connect with others whom they already know and trust. The group leader would use the platform to collect each individual’s portion of the bill, transfer the money from the app to their personal bank account, then personally pay for the service outside of the scope of the app.

In the initial stages, Bublenet will only bring together known individuals to use the platform to collaborate, collect and manage payments within the group, free of cost. In future roll-outs, Bublenet will connect groups directly to service providers, with lists of deals and promotions groups can sign up for through the app, eventually also using the platform to pay the service provider directly. In future stages of the app’s development, groups will be required to pay a low yearly subscription fee (the current estimate is USD $1 per month per group). This makes this app different from others that appear to be similar, because Bublenet is not meant for a one time sharing of expenses, but an ongoing, possibly monthly sharing of expenses. 

See Muthu pitching Bublenet at 1 Million Cups &
Sustainable Startupss in Salt Lake City, Utah



Bubble Net to Bublenet?
So, how did this app get it’s name? Muthu and his partner Gopi really enjoy going whale watching in Alaska. When watching humpback whales, one can view a unique feeding pattern called bubble-net feeding. In this process, humpbacks which are usually solitary feeders, come together as groups to catch more fish in a shorter period of time. One can say a similar concept can be applied to how people typically purchase services, and if they are then bought together as a group, possibly it will be easier to consume more in a short period of time with less effort (and less cash). One may then wonder why is Bublenet spelled as “buble” and not “bubble.” Well, we can simply blame the fact that the domain of bubblenet was already taken. In lieu of that, “bubble” was changed to “buble.”

Getting Out of the Bubble Has Benefits, Too
When I spoke at more length with Muthu, I asked him about his experience in the startup ecosystem in the US and any advice he may have for any other newcomers to the US about starting up something in the US. Muthu notes that especially in Utah and in Salt Lake City, he finds the startup community to be very vibrant and extremely helpful to one another. He utilizes space in the coworking space kiln. He says that kiln holds a wide variety of events that support startups and also provide for networking and even a platform for pitching and possibly getting funding. He says that to be successful in the US, it’s important to actually come out of one’s bubble and talk to others. He feels that some newcomers to the US can be shy and stick with those they are familiar with, usually sticking with the bubble of others from their own community ‘back home.’ Especially for those newcomers in the US, who do want to startup a company or become an entrepreneur, Muthu stresses the importance of getting out of your comfort zone and talking to a lot of different kinds of people. He believes in networking and meeting a wide range of people as a key to success and learning. In the US it’s not about what or who you are (your status, per se) but it’s about who you know. The stronger your network is, the stronger and more confident you will become.

It is with this continued momentum Bublenet will move forward. To keep up with the latest developments with Bublenet, check out their website at bublenet.com. 

Keywords: Money saving tips, FinTech, Save by Sharing, Group Sharing Service, Sharing Social Commerce, Sharing Economy, Peer to Peer

Authentic Journeys: Bridging Culture on Virtual Teams

We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.