Chris Evans, of peer-to-peer equipment sharing platform, Quipmo, has gone from strength to strength with his business despite impacts on travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We spoke to Chris to find out more about what he has been busy with and what’s next.
When Chris relocated from Perth in Western Australia to study an MBA across the country at the University of Queensland, he soon found himself reminiscing of easier days spent traveling. It was then that his idea started to take shape, realising that finding quality equipment while away from home can often prove challenging – not to mention the associated costs. He set about thinking of ways to overcome this barrier and to make it more affordable, efficient, and readily available for adventurers to access the equipment they needed. Now with a business that is on the rise, Chris tells us he looks most forward to building a team of energetic and positive people to continue the journey.
Quipmo, was selected to join the WA Government’s virtual mission to London during London Tech Week in September this year and the Western Australian-based startup has also recently closed its $500k pre-seed capital raise following full funding from diversified private investment firm Eastcourt.
To add to the success, Chris has been invited to speak at Rotto Tech Fest (taking place on Rottnest Island, which is home to stress-relieving quokkas) as part of the annual West Tech Fest, held in Perth. We were excited to speak to Chris to catch-up on Quipmo’s many recent developments.
Can you tell us a bit more about how Quipmo works?
Quipmo is Equipment for the Moment! The surf, bike and snow peer-to-peer gear marketplace that lets individuals and stores rent their gear to like-minded travellers and locals who share a passion for adventure!
We help existing hire businesses increase the number of rentals that they’re making and offer individuals a new way to earn money from gear that they already own. Conversely, for those looking for an adventure whether travelling abroad, away on business or maybe just wanting to try something new, Quipmo gives you choice right at your fingertips!
Amid a global pandemic which is impacting heavily on recreational travel in particular, your business has only grown. Any insights as to why this may be?
It’s unquestionably a very challenging time for the world, and particularly so for the travel and leisure sectors. Notwithstanding this, we, like many, in the travel and leisure space are incredibly bullish on the vertical over the near term. We are confident that as the situation improves, people will begin to crave fun and adventure more than ever. The travel and leisure sectors are at the pointy end of this journey, and we think the sector will surge in the post-COVID world.
Any advice for accessing support in WA for startups?
Quipmo has been incredibly well supported by numerous programs and institutions in Western Australia. Whether it’s the support of the Department of Jobs, Tourism Science and Innovation, or local government and specifically the City of Canning, or programs including WA Leaders – Executive Leaders, Curtin University’s Ignition program, Murdoch University, Austrade, West Tech Fest, or local media – we’ve been truly fortunate.
You’re speaking at this year’s Rotto Tech Fest alongside some of the biggest names in tech – fantastic! What can we expect from your session?
I’m incredibly humbled to have been invited to speak. As you mentioned, the speaking list is simply amazing! It really is my privilege to be participating in the event, and I cannot wait to be in the audience and listen to the collective wisdom of those speaking. The title of my talk is ‘My journey of why’ and I will be offering some background on not simply what Quipmo is, but why I’m passionate about the space, and how that passion came to be.
Have you already got the infamous quokka-selfie from Rottnest Island?
Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be asked this question! The honest answer is that I don’t have one … yet.
What do the next 12 months look like for Quipmo in an ideal world?
We have very bold ambitions for this coming year! Whether it’s building an amazing team, substantially improving our product, or driving increased traction around the globe – we can’t wait to make adventure easy and for people to do more of what they love; more often!
About the Government of Western Australia’s London Office
The Western Australian Government Office is based in London with responsibility across all of Europe and Israel.
Perth has a small but rapidly growing startup sector. There is however, a lack of private equity, corporate funding and Venture Capital in Perth with limited A and B series fund raising. Most companies either bootstrap or get angel investors on board to grow their startups. A number of companies also list publicly earlier than you would see in other cities in order to access capital. This presents an exciting opportunity to accelerate companies in Western Australia.
If you are interested in hearing more about the sector and opportunities in WA for establishing strategic partnerships or are a WA company looking to expand into Europe or Israel, please contact Kim Moss.