Australia / Germany: New South Wales-based peer-to-peer caravan hire and RV sharing marketplace, Camplify, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire German peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace PaulCamper for $47.6 million, thereby consolidating its position in the European market.
The purchase would double the size of Camplify’s business by adding PaulCamper’s 12,000-strong fleet of RVs to its inventory, allowing it to become one of the largest peer-to-peer marketplaces in the world.
Alongside the acquisition, Camplify is raising $8.5 million in capital to fuel further growth initiatives, including growing its emerging insurance division. The transaction is said to be funded by a $1.8 million cash payment and the issue of $45.8 million in Camplify shares to PaulCamper at a price of $1.9624 per share.
The company already operates in Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the UK, and the PaulCamper acquisition will enable Camplify to grow a foothold in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria as it expands its presence in Europe.
Justin Hales, founder and CEO of Camplify, said: “This acquisition delivers Camplify a strategic and targeted growth opportunity in Europe, securing the largest key market, Germany. It provides Camplify with an excellent team of digital marketplace professionals based in Europe, allowing us as a group to optimise and look for expansion opportunities.
“I am extremely impressed by the PaulCamper operation and excited by the ability these transactions provide us to build our business and accelerate our pathway towards cashflow positive position and profitability, with significant ability to grow revenue through vertically integrated products.
“We welcome PaulCamper RV owners, travellers, and team members to the global Camplify community. As a group, we share the vision of making van life accessible for all,” he added,
CEO Dirk Fehse, who founded PaulCamper in 2013, will stay on as head of European operations at Camplify and he told Business News Australia that the deal had been in the offing for the last three years.
Fehse told the publication: “In 2019, Justin and myself met and discussed our shared vision and desire to create a community of RV owners globally who have the passion to share their RVs. As a business that has secured key markets in Europe, PaulCamper is pleased to take this next step and be a part of a global public company on the journey with Camplify.”
After going public on the Australian Securities Exchange via an initial public offering [IPO] worth $11.5 million last June, Camplify said that the acquisition of PaulCamper would help it on its way to achieving profitability, having posted an $8.2 million loss in the 2022 financial year despite a 75 per cent growth in revenue.