Two WA startups partner up

Quipmo WA Homestay partnership
Chris Evans (Quipmo) and Amanda Walker (WA Homestay). Image supplied.
  • Quipmo and WA HomeStay agree to work together
  • Quipmo won Startup News’ Startup of the Year in 2020
  • WA Home Stay founder won Business News’ 40under40 award

Out of a challenging year – to say to least – two local destination based startups have come an idea to help each other (and their customers), by striking a strategic partnership as they move into 2021.

2020′ Startup News startup of the year Quipmo and local holiday accommodation site WA HomeStay will be allowing their mutual customers to book gear and places to stay on each site.

Quipmo already has gear listed in 21 countries, and WA Homestay has properties listed around the state. The two believe this partnership provides a great opportunity for customers to have easy access to adventure gear that can allow them to get the most out of their holidays in WA.

Across Australia, people have spent a lot of time stuck indoors, but with that ending, people are now craving travel and adventure, perhaps like never before.

Lightbulb Mo

Quipmo was a lightbulb moment in 2015 for founder and adventure enthusiast, Chris Evans. Chris balanced the stress of studying for his MBA 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 recurring theme,” he said.

“The problem to solve was how to make accessing quality gear for adventurers more efficient, affordable, and readily available.”

Chris Evans, Quipmo

The answer was Quipmo or ‘equipment for the moment’ – the online surf, bike and snow peer-to-peer gear rental marketplace. Quipmo not only allows adventure travellers access to gear, it helps existing hire businesses increase the number of rentals they make as well as allowing like-minded locals the opportunity to make a few bucks off their gear when they are not using it.

Love for WA

Amanda Walker’s love for Western Australia and experience as a holiday home owner, led to her founding WA HomeStay.

“I spoke to other accommodation providers and they felt the same way I did. The fees the international platforms were charging wee too high and their customer service is poor,” she said.

“WA HomeStay was born as I believe a local platform that cares about the local community can offer a better service for less”.

Amanda Walker, WA Homestay

A genuine love for the amazing holiday destinations in WA and wanting to share those with her guests is what drives Amanda.

Initially starting in the South West, WA HomeStay’s listings have expanded to include the Peel region, Jurien Bay and more.

Intrastate travel to the South West increased by up to 40% from last year. Travellers wanting to maintain social distancing have fuelled a 30% increase in demand for self-contained accommodation. As a result, WA HomeStay enjoyed unprecedented demand during mid to late 2020.

Was a good year

Despite COVID 19 decimating the travel and leisure sectors globally, Quipmo and WA Homestay have both had strong years.

Quipmo secured $500k pre-seed funding from diversified private investment firm Eastcourt; was awarded full scholarship by the City of Canning to the WA Leaders Executive Leaders program; 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; and was also named Startup News’ Most Admired Start Up for 2020.

WA Homestay and Amanda’s rise has been noteworthy, with Amanda being named in Business News’ 40 under 40 awards; WA Homestay was awarded full scholarship by the City of Canning to the WA Leaders Emerging Leaders program; in 2019 WA HomeStay represented stakeholders in submissions to the Western Australia’s Government inquiry into short term accommodation; and was named as a finalist in the “New Business” category in the 2019 WA Tourism Awards.

Quipmo and WA Homestay – good for adventure travellers

Of the Strategic Partnership, Amanda says “it is a great way to add value to my guests’ holiday experience and support another WA start up at the same time. The South West, in particular, is a world renowned outdoor adventure destination. By partnering with Quipmo, our guests can rent anything from an ebike, to a SUP, kayak or surfboard and more to enjoy the region without the hassle of transporting bulky gear “

Chris said “We’re absolutely thrilled to be partnering with WA Homestay to make it easier for people to do more of what they love, more often. This partnership offers something for the whole family – holidays just became easier, and more fun!”

Both Chris and Amanda agree that while COVID-19 has created enormous challenges for the world’s tourism industry, they are both incredibly optimistic about the domestic travel market.

Amanda said “the variety of natural beauty that WA possesses is second to none”, while Chris agreed saying “I think this period has really opened many people’s eyes to how very lucky we are to have WA as our backyard – there really has never been a better time to go and explore it and to enjoy an adventure.”