Today, October 10th 2016, we are making a big announcement: we are shutting down the Yoga Panda marketplace and retiring the Yoga Panda App from the iOS App store and Android App store as well as deactivating the web application on our website. This means that Yoga Panda users will no longer be able to book yoga classes through our marketplace.
We know that many of you will be disappointed by this announcement and we apologize for the inconvenience but we hope we have helped you find some great yoga classes, teachers and studios near you and that you will continue your yoga practice with or without Yoga Panda.
While hundreds of you have been actively using the app to book yoga classes on demand near you, we have failed to scale our marketplace to the point that we needed to make the Yoga Panda marketplace sustainable financially for the long term.
When we started Yoga Panda early last year our vision was to provide the yoga community in the Seattle area with a great search experience on their mobile device to be able to easily find, book and pay for yoga classes near them on demand on a pay as you go model with the potential for up to 50% in savings when attending classes that are less busy. We also wanted to create a new marketing tool for yoga studios that helped attract new students and fill unused spots in yoga classes at local studios. We embarked in this journey with a lot of optimism and we truly believed in our dream of creating a platform that provided a win-win proposition for both consumers and studio owners. We worked hard and over the course of the last year, we were able to onboard almost 50 different yoga studios in the Seattle area and thousands of you have installed the Yoga Panda App.
Yet, this was not enough, we needed many more people to install, start using the app and book yoga classes regularly on the Yoga Panda platform. Had we succeeded in reaching our growth objectives with Yoga Panda in the Seattle area, our goal was to launch the platform in other cities all over the US and add other fitness classes and wellness services into the platform.
We have made mistakes along the way, there are many things we could have done better, but I am very proud of what the Yoga Panda team has accomplished especially given that we had a very small budget and we did not raise any investor money to accomplish what we have. I am also very thankful to all of you who have believed and supported us along the way. Additionally, I want to take a minute to thank all the yoga studios who have trusted us and partnered with us in this journey. Last but not least, thank you to every single Yoga Panda user who has used our platform and joined our community.
As we retire our platform, we will be issuing payment to yoga studios for any outstanding balance for yoga classes attended by Yoga Panda users and disconnecting our platform from their Mindbody account. If you have installed the App in the past, all you have to do now is uninstall it.
As an entrepreneur, this is one of the hardest things I have to do - admit failure to refocus my energy and time on other projects. While I am not quite sure what the future has in store for me - because of my responsibilities with Seattle Yoga News, I will not be far from the local yoga community. (As a side note, if you are not subscribed to Seattle Yoga News, I suggest you do so now and I hope to see you at one of the upcoming yoga events Seattle Yoga News is hosting).
I have published a more in-depth review of the Yoga Panda journey over the last year and a half on my personal blog. Feel free to connect with me on social media if you want to stay in the loop on what I will be up to next.
CEO of Yoga Panda