Story provided by GAFFL.
Imagine you are planning a backcountry trip to Glacier National Park, but your friends are busy or not really interested in hiking, and you are hesitant to go alone because of all the crazy bear and mountain lion stories you’ve read about. What if you could find out who else is planning to go to the same place at the same time, and plan with them in a group free of cost?
GAFFL, a startup based in Perrysburg, Ohio, is helping travelers and adventurers find others in advance at various destinations and airports based on their travel dates, and allowing them to plan in a group on destination-specific time-slots using a group chat. The categories GAFFL focuses on are traveling, outdoors (hiking/climbing/mountaineering), and airport transits; it is like three products blended into one with a common goal of connecting people worldwide.
Every year people are losing lives, trying to explore the wilderness alone. There is no efficient way to find others to explore together, especially for outdoors. There are different Facebook groups or online forums where people post looking for others, but these posts get a very low traction and are unorganized. As a result, most people end up not finding anyone with whom to explore outdoors. There are expensive group adventures run by companies that a lot of people can’t afford. Let’s say, an individual from Germany is planning to climb Mount Rainier. Finding a group through a guiding company will cost him around $1100. Using GAFFL, he can actually find a few mountaineers who are planning to climb Rainier at the same time, for free.
Akib Amin, co-founder of GAFFL, thinks this can change the world of adventure and boring airport transits as people can easily find others and team up in just one step. There is an incredible strength in numbers and this is a doorway to create lifelong friendships as well. By teaming up people can save money, be safer in the outdoors, and simply have more fun. Akib, Shakil, Mithu and Abrar, 4 friends who has known each other for over 12 years, are currently working on the technology. The company is advised by Christian Schaefer who is a mentor at Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator, and has advised multiple startups like Weps, Rentse, and Voo.
GAFFL is growing through word of mouth without any major advertising campaign, and has already reached 164 countries. When GAFFL was first launched, the initial users were not just friends and family, but also people around the world who truly needed the product to improve their livelihoods. The company has only expanded from there, and continues to grow and develop.