Lukáš Janoušek accepting his Shortyz Award in 2023 with Shortyz judge Deborah Heather [Credit: Shortyz Awards]

Motorhome rental platform Campiri to merge with FreewayCamper

Czechia: Czech motorhome rental platform Campiri has announced that it will merge with German counterpart FreewayCamper.

Like Campiri, FreewayCamper is also backed by Czech investors in the form of investment groups Miton and Rockaway Ventures. The transaction is expected to be finalised by the end of next month.

As part of the merger, Campiri co-founder and CEO, Lukáš Janoušek, will remain in the combined company as group co-CEO, alongside fellow group co-CEO, and co-founder of the German startup, Nikolai Voitiouk. Despite the changes, both brands will remain in their home markets for the time being at least.

Paul Tesar, co-founder of Campiri, will serve as technical and product director, while FreewayCamper co-founder Julia Blum will assume the role of chief experience and people officer.

Speaking to following the announcement of the merger, Janoušek said: “It’s a merger of companies. From a technical point of view, Campiri will 100 per cent go under FreewayCamper. The story is not that we are selling Campiri to the Germans, but that we will continue to step into everything together.

Miton investment partner David Špinar said: “The merger of Campiri and FreewayCamper is a logical step in our investment strategy in the topic of free travel. Both companies are very complementary to each other – regionally, in terms of product range, technological background and the personalities of their founders.”

Dušan Zábrodský, general partner of Rockaway Ventures, said: “I am convinced that with this step both companies will significantly strengthen their position on the market and open the door to new opportunities for innovation and expansion.”

Founded in 2021, Campiri has a presence in Czechia, Spain and Portugal, raising more than €4.5 million in total funding to date. The startup, which connects motorhome owners with those interested in renting them, also won the award for Best mobile rental accommodation company at the 2023 Shortyz Awards in London.

Meanwhile, FreewayCamper operates on a franchise concept, enabling dealers, rental companies and entrepreneurs to purchase a FreewayCamper franchise and operate a rental company under the brand. It has branches and franchises in both Germany and Italy.

Together, the two startups say that they will become the only company to offer a unique combination of an online marketplace and franchises for partner rental companies. The merger will create the largest player in the motorhome rental field in Central Europe and one of the largest in the pan-European market, with an expected consolidated turnover of more than €20 million this year.

The transaction marks the latest major merger in the European recreational vehicle segment – a market that is estimated to be worth almost €30 billion according to data from Mordor Intelligence. Recent notable deals include Australian RV rental marketplace Camplify acquiring German business PaulCamper for $47.6 million and a merger [and parallel fundraising] between French platform Yescapa and Dutch equivalent Goboony.

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