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With the end of the year in sight, it’s time to take a look back at what 2016 had to offer. What’s clear is that the startup industry is still flourishing, with many young entrepreneurs that have plenty of innovative, disruptive ideas for the future. The following days we will be looking back at the startups that stood out to us particularly, and ask them about 2016 and their plans for the future. Today: Camper sharing platform Camptoo.
For Camptoo, 2016 has been quite a breakthrough year. The company’s sales have grown tenfold and over 17.000 days were booked through the online platform, which allow users to rent out campers or caravans for their holiday travel. According to the startup, Research showed that campers and caravans are standing in the garage for an average of 48 weeks a year. Getting those vehicles on the road for an affordable fare and with a full insurance, is a win-win situation for both the owner and renter. Camptoo makes money by receiving a 15 percent commission from the rental fees. This year they received more than 650.000 euros in funding from a very successful crowdfunding campaign.
“2016 was quite a ride,” says Camptoo CEO Martijn Peeters. “One of my biggest personal mistakes was to believe that everybody inside the company could handle the amount of stress involved. We had to learn this the hard way: End of June, both our customer support team members couldn’t handle it any longer. This left us with (close to) 100 tickets and 50 phone calls per day and no customer support team. Nobody in the team could answer the questions, except us as founders, next to all the other stuff on our plates. And the high season would kick off within two weeks… In the end, somehow we’ve found four amazing new customer support team members at the start of the high season. To be sure this won’t happen again, we’ve started with stress release training for all our team members. We’ve also automated many processes to reduce the workload and we’ve implemented new training manuals which dramatically simplify our boarding process.”
Building a close-knit community
When asked what the biggest step was for Camptoo in 2016, Peeters straight away their successful crowdfunding campaign: “The biggest step for me personally is that close to 300 users backed us in our crowdfunding campaign, totaling more than 650.000 euros in funding. I’m super happy with this result as most of these users also own a motorhome which they’re sharing via Camptoo. This has helped us to build a close-knit community of fellow outdoor lovers. We are working together with these users to further improve our service, listen to their feedback and build the best motorhome sharing platform out there globally.”
A new COO in 2017?
Camptoo has big plans for 2017, which they are trying to prepare while they have the time for it: “At the moment it’s low season for us. This allows us to drastically improve our website’s user experience, automate our processes and start with our international roll out. We’ve started by defining our international growth playbook and hiring new team members. A key position that has come available is the COO position. In this position you’ll be responsible for building and structuring all the operational teams within Camptoo (e.g. sales, branding, finance and customer support), both in The Netherlands and internationally.”