July 15, 2024


Technological development

Seattle camper rental service Cabana lands $3M to expand fleet – GeekWire

Seattle camper rental service Cabana lands M to expand fleet – GeekWire

(Cabana Photo)

Seattle-based Cabana is fueling up on cash to service growing demand, announcing Thursday that it landed $3 million to boost production of its luxury travel vans.

“We booked over 8,000 nights in 2022 and have already started booking out far into 2023,” CEO and co-founder Scott Kubly told GeekWire. “This past summer, we were fully booked every weekend and almost all weekdays. For every one guest we served, we had a guest that was unable to find an available van.”

Kubly, a former Seattle Department of Transportation head and Lime exec, launched Cabana in the summer of 2020. The startup lets campers rent custom-built cargo van designed for travel. Its Ford Transit vans include beds, storage, bathrooms, and internet. Customers can rent the vans via the Cabana app, which also allows customers to lock and unlock the vehicles.

Cabana currently has a fleet of 50 vans and aims to grow to 150 by the end of 2023. The startup also announced plans to deploy new van models and expand into new markets. Cabana currently operates in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angelas, and it will launch in Austin, Texas, early next month.

Despite the recent growth, there has been some bumps in the road. The Omicron wave and high gas prices put a dent on demand, Kubly said, while supply chain and labor shortages previously slowed van production. However, sales recovered with the return of events and festivals, he added, while rising airfare prices and pilot shortages also propped up sales from locals.

“We have found that for every headwind, we have found a tailwind,” he said.

The round was led by Chicago-based TechNexus Venture Collaborative. Previous backers include Craft Ventures, Goldcrest Capital, Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden and former Ford X President Sunny Madra. Cabana did not provide an updated valuation, but Kubly said that it has increased since its last funding round in 2021.