HolidayFox, the British start-up championing the UK tourism industry and aiming to digitise the camping market across the UK and Europe, has raised £1.17m in pre-seed funding. Fuel Ventures led the round, which included participation from Michael and Xochi Birch (Bebo), Redbus (Simon Franks, ex-Lovefilm), the Atomico Angel Fund, D Global Ventures, Shaan Puri, and Cathexis Ventures as well as a number of angels from Monzo, Talentful, Deliveroo, Ski Famille and Blockfi.
“Camping is something I have always done and we are passionate about it", said HolidayFox co-founder Jason Green. “So many people now want to be outdoors, get back to nature, experience something new and have a more eco-friendly and unique holiday. I’ve been camping and campervanning for many years, but always found the process of finding and booking a campsite for exactly what I wanted really difficult. We knew it was a problem that we could solve - and it was the right time to do it.”
The co-founders - Richard and Jason - ran a London-based web agency together for many years. 10 years ago, Jason moved to Berlin to start working as CTO at Wimdu (Rocket Internet), which rapidly grew into the largest marketplace for booking city breaks in Europe. He went on to run Product and Tech as CTO at some of the largest tech marketplaces in Europe including Brainly, Dawanda (acq. By ETSY), Wowcher & Living Social and Checkatrade. After a 10 year hiatus, Richard and Jason have joined forces again to take on their shared passion for camping. The team hails from hyper-growth European marketplaces and both founders possess a huge amount of experience in leveraging technology for the masses. As such, the team is well positioned in what is a nascent emerging market.
With the current enthusiasm for camping and people wanting to unplug from their devices and embark on unique experiences, HolidayFox offers a solution; a comprehensive search platform that allows users to find a campsite based on amenities (playground, yurts), features (sea views, big groups), onsite or nearby activities (canoeing, biking) and personal likes (beach, mountains). It also enables campsite owners to easily manage their own page on the website. New government guidelines allow anyone to open a campsite for 56 days a year, so prospective campsite owners can easily get up and running and take bookings through HolidayFox with simply a small field and a big sense of adventure. Campsites are under-digitised, and both campers and campsite owners are looking for a simple and effective product to make booking a camping holiday easier.
HolidayFox will use the investment to expand and scale its engineering and operation teams to further develop the product across the UK & major European countries. With their experienced team and strong advisory board, they stand in good stead to grow the marketplace quickly and powerfully.
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