by Chris Evans
As a well-traveled surfer, Chris Evans knew first hand how challenging it was to find great equipment on adventures. Now, as founder of the fast-growing marketplace Quipmo, he’s helping adventurers all across the globe live their dreams.
Quipmo was a lightbulb moment in 2015 for Chris. Chris balanced the stress of studying for his MBA in Brisbane, Australia during the day, with nights spent reminiscing about his travels. He’d surfed all around the globe, and lived for outdoor adventure. But he realized he always had the same problem:
“Finding quality gear for an adventure whilst traveling was always a huge challenge. The logistics and cost of transporting great gear made having an adventure away from home especially difficult.”
After countless hours of brainstorming, thousands of hours of research, spamming friends with surveys, and almost a year’s worth of planning, an ambitious idea started to form in his head. A marketplace that could connect travelers with both existing hire businesses and locals who had gear to rent. The possibilities were endless: surf, bike, and snow equipment, available in destinations all over the world. Travelers would rent equipment by the hour, day, or week and meet like-minded locals, who could make some money renting things they already owned along with small businesses eager to access a digital channel to market.
The idea of Quipmo was born - Equipment for the Moment. But Chris’ expertise – and passion – lay in building a business, not spending months writing code.
“When I started looking at solutions back in 2016, Sharetribe Go immediately rose to the top of the pack in terms of features and value for money, and its vision gave us confidence that the solution would continue to evolve in lockstep with us. The product is easy to use and the customer support is excellent,” Chris explains.
“Finding a no-code back end solution was a key priority as it allowed us to focus our full attention on building a brand, acquiring merchants and customers, and putting in place key strategic partnerships.”
With the technological backing of Sharetribe, Chris quickly got to work building Quipmo.
"Credibility and trust are a must for any marketplace. To build trust with our market, one of our key strategies has been to form strategic partnerships which afford both a channel to market but also provide positive brand affiliation," notes Chris.
Building partnerships has been a highly effective strategy for Quipmo. Currently, the company has agreements in place with world sporting tours and international, national, and state peak sporting organizations across able-bodied and adaptive sport, and partnerships with complementary startups too.
And it’s working. Quipmo now has listings in 21 countries, won The Australian Trade and Investment Commissions (Austrade)’s Going Global award in 2019, and was recently named Most Admired Startup for 2020 by Startup News.
Quipmo’s growth shows no signs of slowing. The company recently closed a pre-seed funding round worth $500k, and Chris has ambitious plans for the future.
“New features continue to be added to Sharetribe’s products, and we’re confident the software will further support Quipmo’s growth,” Chris says.
“Our ambitions are very bold, but our progress is one of lots of little steps. If we continue to offer value to our providers and customers, build an amazing team, and strive towards our mission of helping people to do more of what they love more often - then we will be successful.”
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