We sat down with Gabriella Hernandez, co-founder of KANARA, to talk about the journey to date and plans for the future of the business.
How did you come up with the idea for the business?
We noticed a lack of user-friendly and accessible digital solutions to solve the modern needs of sailors and water sports practitioners of all levels and backgrounds. So we developed a single platform to give them the tools they need to get the most out of doing what they love - KANARA Sport.
We want to make it easier for sailors, water sports athletes, coaches, clubs and teams to not only get the data and insights they need to track and improve their performance but also to connect, practice, play, compete and share their activities.
Why does the industry need the solution you’re providing?
The sailing and water sports industry is highly under-digitalised. Most people still rely on an arsenal of tools such as paper, pen, excel sheets, web tools and trackers in training and competitions. With KANARA, our users save time and money, whilst also being able to access advanced data and insights that help to better understand their performance.
The community is also highly fragmented, with interaction limited by external factors such as location. We make it easier to bring the action online, to share with the community and increase visibility and engagement. People and brands can use our technology - including GPS tracking, and 2D/3D activity revisualisation - without the need for expensive hardware and software solutions.
What's the plan for the business? Where do you see KANARA in 3-5 years?
We launched our tools for coaches, clubs and teams last month, and +2.5K athletes are already using our platform in +70 counties. Ten top federations and clubs are using KANARA to track and manage their athletes. We also co-hosted digitalised events and rankings for the Formula Kite Spain Series 2022 and Windsurfer Europeans 2022. We look forward to collaborating on more sailing and water sports events of all sizes via the platform, whether social, competitive or not-for-profit causes.
It's still early days, but we think KANARA has the potential to be the "Strava for the sailing and watersports community". We have a long roadmap ahead of us in terms of new and improved features and functions based on our users' feedback. We are raising a seed round to help us accelerate platform growth and enhance the platform in line with our users' needs.
Any advice for entrepreneurs getting started?
Being an entrepreneur is a challenging but rewarding journey. You have a chance to solve a problem and make a positive impact. Don't be afraid of failure or making mistakes. Be open to learning and wearing many hats. It helps to have a good team that is supportive and shares values and goals. Lastly, listen to and nurture your community. Try to build a relationship with your members whereby they feel comfortable sharing feedback and ideas - they will help you to grow.