Subsninja app takes hassle out of admin work for small clubs

Software makes it easy for clubs to manage records, subs and GDPR compliance

Jer Ryan, founder of Subsninja: he is targeting clubs in Ireland and the UK to begin with but his grand plan is to take the app global

Jer Ryan, founder of Subsninja: he is targeting clubs in Ireland and the UK to begin with but his grand plan is to take the app global

 

When businessman Jer Ryan joined Dublin Tomiki Aikido with his two daughters seven years ago he quickly saw how much of a burden manual billing and record keeping was for the small club. Ryan was more tuned into the problem than most because he already runs an IT company that develops membership management systems for large organisations.

However, when he started looking at what was on offer for small groups he quickly discovered the available systems were either too expensive or too complex for their needs. Undeterred, Ryan (who comes from a tech background) began developing his own and Subsninja, a low-cost membership management and billing app that enables clubs to run their admin from a mobile phone, was launched last December.

“I looked at creating a simple software application that addressed the main pain points for our club,” Ryan says. “Then some instructors from another club heard about it and asked if they could use it too and this opened up the opportunity to build out Subsninja as a web service for small clubs.”

Participation

Ryan set up the company in 2019 and following his participation in the Enterprise Ireland-backed New Frontiers programme at the Synergy Centre in Tallaght, the app was soft launched with a number of clubs in the Dublin region. Ryan says the potential market for Subsninja is the €900 million network of small martial arts, gymnastics, dance, keep-fit, pilates, yoga, swimming and running clubs across Europe who currently don’t have an easy IT solution to turn to.

“Small clubs of all types everywhere struggle with the same basic tasks – attendance recording, payment collection, health and safety, and GDPR compliance,” Ryan says. “Existing solutions are cost prohibitive and way over-specified for the needs of smaller clubs. The features on our app provide what our customers need most in an easy to use form at a competitive price.”

The system’s features include automated billing, Stripe payments, members’ database, attendance recording, incident recording, GDPR compliance and a guardian’s database where children are involved. Subsninja will operate in the SaaS space and will charge clubs 5 cent per month per active member plus a 1 per cent fee on payments. Clubs with less than 10 members can use the app for free.

Slow burner

“It’s going to be a slow burner at first but that’s fine by me because our ethos is to create a socially responsible business that will support these small clubs that make such a difference and contribution to their communities,” Ryan says. “I’ve seen people trying to work with spreadsheets on mobile phones which is practically impossible and they have all the hassle of monitoring payments and onboarding members. Subsninja takes all of this admin off their plate while also ensuring they are GDPR compliant – something clubs are going to have to get their heads around because the laws are strict and the penalties severe.”  

While Ryan is targeting clubs in Ireland and the UK to begin with, his grand plan is to take the system global. His current team comprises four people and development costs to date have been boostrapped at €70,000 from personal funds, friends and family and an Enterprise Ireland stipend. Ryan is now looking to raise between €250,000 and €500,000 to fund Subsninja’s full commercial roll out.  

“We are entering what seems at first glance a crowded marketplace,” Ryan says. “However, the majority of our competitors are focused on servicing the needs of larger clubs and the gym industry, resulting in solutions that are feature heavy and require significant technical handholding to set up. Our focus has been to concentrate on developing a lean, primarily “self-service” function that the club owner/manager can set up themselves and have operational within a day or two with minimal input.”

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