So here we are. It has been a long journey. But Orfi Active is on the market, and ready for the world. 

Welcome!

I’m so excited for people to use the app – to hear feedback and to see that map filling with sessions. This has been a long time coming, and on a personal level it’s been a rollercoaster to get here. 

I’d like to share our story with you, to help you understand why and how Orfi Active came to be. 


The seed of an idea

I had the idea for the app back in 2014 in my last year at university. 

I’m Lithuanian, so I’ve always been into basketball.  As I was moving around I was struggling to find places and people to play with, especially in countries where it wasn’t as popular as I was used to. 

Finding relevant information, how to join sessions – everything seemed dated and difficult. 

Once I found somewhere to play I realised there were other issues from the other side of the process: how much hassle the organisers had to go through managing attendants, drop outs, trying to notify people about changes, collecting money. 

The whole thing seemed so wrong and I was determined to find a solution – and that’s where the idea for the app came from. 


“We made a lot of mistakes – but we learnt from them”

I wanted to create a platform where people could find and join their favourite activities, and where organisers could easily create events and have them on autopilot, just getting rid of all the admin. 

I wanted to let people focus on what’s important – playing the game. 

After university I got a job as a graphic designer, and although I got some great experience, the idea for the app never left my mind. So I worked evenings and weekends to make sure I kept it on track. 

Fast forward a couple of years and it became a proper start-up business. We got developers on board and built a team to make sure we get the app out there and solve the problem.

Little did we know it’s a lot harder to do than we realised. We had no idea how to build an app. It’s our first business and we made a lot of mistakes. 

So even when we did release our first app – Hoops Connect – it was a good idea but the execution was poor. It was buggy, it was over-complicated and the user experience just wasn’t there. 

So at that point we had to make a decision. Do we pull the plug? Or do we learn from what we’ve done and start again. 

We’ve done the latter.


From Hoops Connect to Orfi Active: A transition

We took what we had learnt and went back to the drawing board. We spent the whole of 2018 redesigning and redeveloping the app to make sure it suits organisers and participants. 

Orfi Active is slicker, simpler and more engaging. 

But most importantly, we’ve built it based not just on what we wanted, but on what we’ve been told you want, from feedback on Hoops Connect and testing on our new product. 

That means that users have shaped the app that you see in stores today. 

And that’s why we’re confident that what we have is a true solution to that problem I recognised way back in 2014.


Our mission

What started off as something to help people like myself find people and places to play sport, has grown into something a lot bigger, tackling bigger issues. 

We live in challenging times. Times where we’re less active than ever. Obesity rates are soaring and the NHS is struggling to cope. 

So our goal is simple. 

To get more people more active by making the process of finding and organising fitness events more simple. 

And we want to help other organisations get the recognition they deserve in pursuit of a common goal – getting our nation fitter, healthier and happier. 

This our ethos – our why. And that’s why I’m so excited about the impact we can have. 

But we can’t do this alone. Orfi Active is for everyone, so I hope you join our journey and help us reach this common goal.


Follow us on social media and keep your eyes on our blog to find out how you can help us get more people, more active.


Jonas Urbonas

Jonas is the founder and CEO of Orfi Active, which he set up to have a positive influence on the sports, health and fitness industry, a cause that is nearly as much an obsession for him as his beloved Boston Celtics.

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Posted on

August 28, 2019

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