Camplify Holdings Ltd ranks 17th on AFR’s 2021 Fast 100 Companies List

Justin Hales, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Camplify

Camplify which was created from a simple idea: make camping holidays possible for everyone, has been recognized as #17 on the AFR Fast 100.

Camplify’s online travel platform taps into the international fast-growing peer-to-peer (P2P) experience-economy fundamentals by connecting holidaymakers with van-owners who share their recreational vehicles (RVs) on the Camplify platform.

Camplify became a publicly listed company on the ASX in June 2021. Having closed a pre-IPO capital raise of $3.5 million, Camplify achieved an IPO of $11.5 million, which was more than four times oversubscribed. Since its listing, Camplify’s share price has increased by almost 3x.

The mystery behind Camplify’s recent success

After being recognized as one of Australia’s fastest-growing companies, Justin Hales, Camplify Founder and CEO, provided a sneak peek into its RV-sharing success story:

“Our 2021 AFR Fast 100 inclusion is a validation of our Company vision, business model and team, and it speaks to the support of our growing community of van owners and hirers.”

“We’re proud and humbled by our achievements thus far, but have our sights firmly focused on expanding the business and continuing to be open to opportunities.”

Camplify’s growth is tied to solving problems on both sides of a travel marketplace: connecting RV owners who are not using their RVs enough, and hirers who want to access a network of caravans, campervans, and motorhomes for their holidays.

“Our team is always striving to make it easier for both RV owners and hirers to connect as seamlessly as possible. It’s that focus on customer service and experience and valuing feedback which has flowed into Camplify, and the culture and DNA of the company.”

How Camplify thrived during a tough 2021

COVID-19 was a tough time for all tourism businesses.

Camplify, like most other companies, went through an initial period of customers being very concerned about the future. However, its DNA is deeply rooted in lean startup methodology.

This meant it was very quickly able to pivot and adapt to find a new way of operating and developing systems and processes that enabled travel during this evolving period. It evolved by listening and developing products based on customer needs and feedback.

Enhancements included the development of an automated credit system and new policies to enable a clear and simple rebooking process for customers when travel plans changed.

This combined with COVID-safe training, new remote van-handover processes utilizing app technology options provided owners and hirers smart options which adapted ways of working. Most of Camplify’s team has seamlessly been working remotely during COVID-19.

The pandemic only a bump on the road

Despite more than 50% of the Australian population affected by travel restrictions Camplify continued to grow, more than doubling its YoY revenue in FY21, achieving a 128% YoY increase in total bookings for the 2021 financial year.

Camplify also built a fleet of more than 6,400 RVs in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Spain. It grew GTV by 170% to achieve a result of $32.9m, a further upgrade from its pre-listing forecast of $27.8m, with every market Camplify operates in seeing an increase in GTV.

Justin Hales gave these insights on COVID growth.

“In every market, Camplify operates, we’ve seen consumers keen to be able to travel, and embrace the outdoor lifestyle that Camplify encourages.”

“This was already a trend before COVID-19, but we have seen that accelerate. We’ve seen increased demand once restrictions are lifted. Our northern hemisphere presence is strategic, and provides us access to peak season travel, and creating buffers against local restrictions.”

“RVs by nature are self-contained and self-isolating. They enable people to travel to remote areas, so as lockdowns were lifted, many people felt more comfortable and inclined to hire an RV and head out on a road trip as a vacation. The trend continues.”

What the future holds for Camplify

“50% of Australians say they are more likely to venture on regional holidays in the future. So far, Camplify has helped people spend more than 1.5 million nights under the stars.”

Despite its growth, Camplify holds less than 2% of the total addressable market everywhere it operates. As of January 2021, there were over 741,000 RV registrations in Australia.

Camplify taps into an opportunity to make those RVs available for hire, providing a solution to van owners who have RVs that are unused for much of the year and allowing everyday people to achieve a new income stream as a result of sharing their vans with others.

On average, van owners earn $710 from their first booking in Australia, with many earning up to $10,000 or more a year. To date, Camplify has paid $35 million in hire income.

Camplify achieved its success from its regional Australian base in Newcastle.

“This makes us more and more passionate about building a business outside of a metropolitan area, and showing the world what we can do.”