Startups #nofilter had the pleasure of sitting down with the revolutionary Deepblu team, led by CEO James Tsuei. Focused on bringing hi-tech into the ocean, Deepblu’s tech is the most popular diving product in recent memory.
With over 100,000 divers using their Deepblu diving log app, Deepblu is bringing diving information from the ocean into the cloud. Read below to understand more about Deepblu’s tech, as well as some incredible future plans.
- What kind of tech has your company built? Is there an app or do users operate only on the website?
The COSMIQ is the first IOT dive computer of its kind brought to market in the Spring of 2016. In addition to the standard dive computer functions for preventing decompression sickness through decompression algorithms. Through Bluetooth connectivity with the Deepblu App, the COSMIQ allows divers to easily upload their dive logs seamlessly to the app which they can then easily integrate the underwater photos/videos they captured during the dives into a content rich digital dive log.
- What has the reception been like? Has the diving community embraced your company?
Deepblu is about simplifying the scuba diver lifestyle through the internet and technology. Starting with capturing and recording the diver’s dive experiences whether through the COSMIQ Dive Computer or the stand alone digital dive log app function. Divers can capture all of their precious dive memories under their Deepblu profile stored in the cloud. Users can also share their dive adventures through social media posts on Deepblu with location tags. Ask questions or exchange opinions in the Discussion Groups.
- What sort of data can you share with us? Number of users?
The scuba diving market while niche in population has a considerable economic scale. With the total global spending in recreational scuba diving and snorkeling estimated between USD25 Billion to USD30 Billion in 2017.
Since debuting the first generation COSMIQ in spring of 2016, and launching the dive logging and online diver community platform in both iOS and Android as well as a desktop web version later that year. The Deepblu community has grown to close 100 thousand users within the past three years making it the 2nd largest diver online community in the world and the fastest growing community in the realm of scuba diving and freediving. The platform has accumulated over 200 thousand dive logs from its users with tens of thousands of photos and videos populated over 20 thousand dive spots around the globe through UGC making it the best online resource to explore dive destinations throughout the globe.
- We see that Deepblu is very community-oriented. Why did you pursue a community angle to grow your startup, as opposed to traditional PR or marketing?
Scuba Diving and Freediving is very much a niche market. We feel that in order to be successful, a community centric approach would be the most effective way to acquire relevant users opposed to traditional PR and marketing.
- In terms of startup funding, where does Deepblu stand? Are you seeking additional rounds?
We are now raising our second Pre-A round and looking for strategic investors that will be able to help us to develop Planet Deepblu and its services to the next stage.
- What are you most excited about for Deepblu’s future?
Deepblu’s potential to gradually help bring change the dive industry. The largest age group of scuba divers are aging into their sixties, but their kids aren’t following them into the sport. Instead, young people are turning to surfing and other more extreme sports. However, the average Deepblu platform user is between 25-36 years old. This is encouraging as we feel that our product and services is addressing the needs of the new generation of divers and we hope we can help contribute in promoting the sport to the younger demographic.
We feel that the scuba industry in general has been slow in its evolution from many aspects. Ways of doing business in many ways still have not caught up with the digital age which opens up opportunities for companies like ours coming in with a fresh approach.
- For fun: What is your go-to website for both regular news and hi-tech news?
- For fun: What website do you go to check when your internet isn’t working?
- For fun: Any advice for Startups #nofilter, in our quest to become the mecca of startup founder interviews?
Throw in a question to founders on what kept them going through all the times they got knocked down during their journey. Would be interesting to hear about some inspiring first hand answers.