ShareACamper, the Germany-headquartered peer-to-peer rental platform for motorhomes and caravans, has raised €2 million in seed funding. The backing comes mostly from unnamed investors from the tech and RV (recreational vehicle) industry, including German software development company Werkdigital.
ShareACamper says the funding will be used for product development, recruitment, and expansion into new markets. The startup already has 25 staff based in Germany, Australia, and New Zealand, and claims to be the fastest growing RV rental marketplace in those markets.
“RV rentals are expensive, in short supply, and traditional hire companies subscribe to a one-vehicle-fits-all approach yet around the world there are millions of vehicles sitting in driveways not being used for most of the year,” says Jan Bartel, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “ShareACamper provides the owners of these vehicles a simple and secure way to hire their vehicle out to prospective travellers”.
Or, put another way, ShareACamper might be considered as an ‘Airbnb for motorhomes and caravans’. As well as operating a peer-to-peer marketplace, the startup provides vehicle insurance, roadside assistance, payment handling, and customer support, leaving RV owners to price their vehicles, set the rules and decide who to hire to.
“We have owners of motorhomes that want to share the experience of travelling in an RV,” says Bartel, explaining the premise behind a peer-to-peer approach. “They are excited to meet new people and to share their own ‘backyard’ with others. Owners tend to be a little older and more settled and have done lots of travelling themselves. We also have many owners that bought the camper van for a specific trip, often a gap year, and now use it sporadically, but nowhere near all year around”.
To that end, ShareACamper says it plans to grow its customer base with a focus on “customer education” for travellers, including those using a camper for the first time.