Western Australian-based surf, bike, and snow peer-to-peer gear rental marketplace Quipmo has closed its $500k pre-seed capital raise following full funding from diversified private investment firm Eastcourt.
The funding is a significant step forward in the global plans for the exciting share economy business for adventure lovers, which already has gear listed in 21 countries.
Quipmo will use the new capital to recruit critical hires in Queensland, extending its presence in the prime tourism region between Byron Bay and Noosa.
It will also continue to grow its presence across Western Australia.
Quipmo was a lightbulb moment in 2017 for founder and adventure enthusiast, Chris Evans, who was completing a full-time MBA at the University of Queensland.
Mr Evans balanced the hectic juggling and stress of study during the day with nights spent reminiscing about his global travels and passion for outdoor adventures.
“I realised the challenge and frustration of finding quality adventure gear when you are travelling and the cost of transporting that gear from home when you head to remote locations was a reoccurring theme,” he said.
“The problem to solve was how to make accessing quality gear for adventurers more efficient, affordable, and readily available.”
The answer was ‘equipment for the moment’ or Quipmo – an online marketplace that puts adventure seekers in touch with local hire businesses and locals who not only share their passion but have quality equipment they are willing to rent out.
The concept not only allows adventure travellers to do what they love more often but helps existing hire businesses increase the number of rentals they make and gives likeminded locals the opportunity to make a few bucks off their gear when they are not using it,” said Mr Evans.
Like many of the share economy start-ups that have become household names, Quipmo’s rise has been rapid.
The venture has already forged 12 major strategic partnerships that include world sporting tours and international, national, and state sporting bodies across both able- bodied and adaptive sport.
Quipmo was awarded Austrade’s Going Global Award in 2019 and was selected by the Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science, and Innovation to represent the State via a virtual trade mission at this year’s London Tech Week.
Evans said that while COVID-19 has created enormous challenges for the world’s travel and leisure sectors, Quipmo is incredibly bullish about the global domestic travel markets.
“We are already seeing record levels of intrastate travel in Western Australia, and once domestic borders open, we are firmly of the view that people’s desire to travel and to experience adventure again will surge,” he said.
“We are truly grateful for the confidence, belief and conviction that Eastcourt has shown in Quipmo and, more broadly, in the future of the tourism and travel sector.”
Following the capital investment, Eastcourt CEO, Tom Oosterhof has been appointed as Quipmo’s inaugural Chair and will be joined on the Board by Eastcourt Advisory Board member, John Groppoli.
Mr Oosterhof said Eastcourt believes Mr Evans has both the entrepreneurial mindset needed to rapidly scale-up the business and the financial and strategic acumen to successfully lead Quipmo’s global development.
“We are thrilled to be supporting Chris and Quipmo in this pivotal time for the start- up,” he said.