United States: based in San Diego mobile platform Sekr, which aims to simplify the outdoor travel experience, announced the closing of a $2.25 million seed funding cycle.
The round was led by Storyteller Overland, Backstage Capital, Techstars, Ad Astra Ventures, Crescent Ridge Ventures and Andy Ballesterco-founder of GoFundMe.
Described as a “participatory mobile platform based on women and minorities”, Sekr aims to make every step of the outdoor travel planning experience “easier, safer and more social”. From full-time digital nomads to the occasional road trip, the company creates an inclusive community with access to over 50,000 campsites, including the nation’s largest database of free campsites.
After the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, interest in outdoor travel has grown, with notable increases among active and would-be campers, according to Statista. As a result, Sekr reported seeing a 1530% increase in user sessions from May 2020 at May 2021 and a 492% increase in app users August 2020 at August 2021.
Founded in 2018, Sekr plans to use the funding to expand its bookable inventory and grow its community initiatives, events and forums, such as its Respect Outdoors project. [PRO]. The PRO event brings together business owners, nonprofit leaders, and disruptors who want to raise awareness of shared experiences and make the outdoor industry a more inclusive space.
Breanne Acio, co-founder and CEO of Sekr, said: “As women-led businesses only received 2.4% of venture capital in 2020, a drop from 2019, this increase is not not only significant as it speaks to the need for technological innovation in the camping industry, but also an important movement in the diversification of funds financed by venture capitalists.We are proud to work with a growing team of investors, employees, partners and outdoor enthusiasts who seek a better quality of life through safe outdoor travel and community.
Jeffrey Hunter, CEO of Storyteller Overland and lead investor in Sekr’s funding round, said, “The camping industry is one of the only hospitality verticals to have successfully embraced technology, and Sekr has seized the opportunity to digitize campsite inventory at scale, transforming outdoor planning. moving from a frustrating loop of hours of fruitless Google searches to something consumers can do for themselves.
“Like leaders before them in the hospitality and vacation rental industries, we believe the Sekr team is uniquely positioned to have the greatest influence and impact on the outdoor travel planning experience. for the nearly three-quarters of Americans who take part in outdoor travel each year,” he added.