[Credit: Cabana]

Cabana suspends camper van rental operations

US: Seattle-based ‘mobile hotel’ and camper van rental startup, Cabana, has suspended rental operations and begun a sale process, as announced by founder and CEO, Scott Kubly, on LinkedIn.

Founded in 2019, Cabana previously raised at least $13 million in funding, including a $10 million Series A funding round in June 2021 and $3 million in growth capital in December 2022. The startup was backed by the likes of TechNexus Venture Collaborative, Craft Ventures and Goldcrest Capital.

In his LinkedIn post, Kubly revealed that the company had suspended rental operations in November and started a sale process.

He attributed the decision to a “series of macroeconomic events that felt like a black swan event hitting every nine to 12 months, as well as a semiconductor shortage, labour shortage and ten per cent inflation, interest rate spikes, and a sharp drop in venture capital deployment over the last 12 months.

Kubly added: “I can point to strategic and tactical decisions that, given the benefit of hindsight, I would make differently. I will spend the next few months reflecting on the experience, recognising the patterns, and figuring out how to apply what I have learned.”

Cabana enabled travellers to rent out anything from custom-built cargo vans to Ford Transit vans equipped with beds, storage facilities, bathrooms and wifi connection.

At the peak of its powers, Kubly said that Cabana had over 70 vans in five markets and was serving more than 4,000 guests across 20,000-plus nights, as well as delivering what he said was “the first contactless, camper van / RV rental experience in the world”.

Five months ago, the CEO discussed the new markets in which Cabana was planning to launch in 2024, including San Diego, Bozeman, Sacramento, Portland, Boise, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver and Albuquerque.

STRz has approached Kubly for further comment on the news.

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