Melbourne-based accomodation booking platform Riparide has raised $4 million as it looks to expand offshore.
The round was backed by investment groups Macdoch Ventures and Upswell Ventures.
The site sets its set itself apart from numerous other booking platforms such as Stayz and Airbnb by offering “soul-fulfilling escapes”, recounted through travel stories on the site.
You can stay in a caravan, yurt, tipi, an old tram or train carriage, a yacht, hotels and cottages, to a $100 a night shipping container on the Great Ocean Road, all the way to a 15-person holiday house on Sydney’s Northern Beaches at $2,200 a night.
Riparide co-founder Marlon Law said the funds will be used to launch the startup’s first three international regions.
“We’re excited to inspire more people to live life fully. Now, more than ever, society needs to disconnect from the stresses they face on the daily and plot weekend escapes,” he said.
“It’s fantastic to have such great partners backing Riparide’s mission.”
As Australia finally unlocks to travel with increased vaccination rates, Law is looking to target the weekend escape market with message to unplug and immerse yourself in nature.
In spite of the pandemic, Riparide was a 300% increase in bookings year-on-year.
And law like to benchmark another performance metric that he sees as central to the platform’s mission: fulfillment.
“After every Riparide trip, customers can review how fulfilled they felt, and Riparide uses this data to track alignment to their mission,” he said.
The current average fulfillment score sits above 95%.
The offshore expansion plans will begin with Auckland, New Zealand once local restrictions ease.
Riparide currently has more than 1,600 sites across NSW and Victoria. Law has set himself the goal of 250,000 bookings within the next three years.
Macdoch Ventures associate Eliza Jackson said they were thrilled to support the startup’s global expansion
“Riparide makes new regions easily discoverable with travellers’ stories, ensuring properties are controlled for factors like isolation and adventure. As a result, the time it takes to make a booking is far lower than other sites,” she said.
“Riparide’s impressive growth and engagement metrics are testament to the customer love and community they have created around their mission of helping people find fulfilment.”