Q&A: Sebastiaan Schillebeeckx on new online platform Campr

Summary

Sebastiaan Schillebeeckx and Wim Vanhorenbeeck are about to launch Campr, an online platform that offers unique camping accommodations around the globe

Find your space

Young entrepreneurs Sebastiaan Schillebeeckx and Wim Vanhorenbeeck are hoping to make a success of Campr, a new online platform for intrepid campers based on Airbnb.

How did you come up with the idea for Campr?
Last year, Wim and I were final-year students in multimedia design at the Thomas More University College in Mechelen. This platform is actually our thesis project. We wanted to create something new in the sharing economy. Also, we are fanatic travellers – campers, that is – and we regularly encounter the same problem: finding a nice, unique camping spot that has more to offer than just some square metres of grass and a shower block. It’s hard to find campsites that don’t fall short of our expectations. So we chose to create an online platform where campers can easily find unique – and sometimes luxurious – campsites.

What is the difference between Airbnb and what you’re offering?
Our idea is based on Airbnb. But we’ve tried to broaden the service. Ideally, a user should be able to find a camping space in a garden in the middle of New York City. But this is not just a platform on which travellers find only that. In the first place, we aim for comfortable campsites in unique spots. But we’ve also been in touch with a company that refurbishes old VW vans and turns them into perfect travel trailers. We want them to find clients on our platform as well.

Last but not least, we want people with spots to offer something extra. The local touch is so important when you travel: tips and tricks, good bars, maybe even a barbecue in the garden. That’s something regular campsites hardly ever offer. This platform, more than anything else, should become a community of campers.

When is this going online?
On 28 January. The mobile version will be released a few weeks later. At the moment, we have about 100 camping spots in 25 countries, and 600 users have already signed up. Current campsite locations include ones in in the US, Australia, the UK and Croatia.