When one thinks of camping, Kerala has got to be one of the key destinations on the list. With several amazing camping destinations, one will never feel bored or out of options. Campper is an online platform to discover and book campsites. Their amenities include beds and blankets, meals, parking facilities and more.

Campper’s mission is to help people stay close to nature and experience it with zero impact on nature. Camping in a tent or hammock comes across as the best bet. People who have the extra land capacity and who are willing to share it with campers have got an opportunity to earn extra revenue, which in turn helps them to conserve their land as well. This startup believes that spending more time outside has its own health benefits, from sharper thinking and creativity to simply being happy. Campper simply acts as a one-stop-shop for campsites which are verified, well equipped and secured.

This Kerala startup has come up with makeshift tents, capitalizing on an increasing craze among youngsters to stay under closed canopies with wardrobes and washrooms that can be easily dismantled after use.

Bringing out Innovation

Prabil MJ, Founder & CEO

At the Kerala Startup Mission’s 'Innovation Week’ that concluded in Kochi in May, state Tourism Director V. Krishna Teja showed light on Campper’s makeshift tents, the startup engaged in the outdoor travel segment.

The 2016-founded Campper came up with its latest product, considering that travellers, especially trekkers, look forward to minimal lodging facilities when they pitch a tent for an overnight stay with their family. Thus, the company’s tent has all the basic features of a bedroom, even as the lightweight structure can be disassembled quickly and raised to another location soon after.

The innovative facility has the potential to woo family travellers looking for novel experiences, according to organisers of Kerala Innovation Week, conducted in association with Global Shapers Community, Kochi. An initiative of the World Economic Forum, the event was part of the state government’s effort to propel the economy with new-age technology. KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

The Beginning of this Earth-Friendly Venture

Behind the online startup Campper, lies novel ideas and concepts aplenty. There's no dearth of material today for travellers and tourists. An ocean of possibilities is just a mouse click away. Campper is no different. It has all the features of a regular travel portal. To go beyond stereotyping was the challenge the boys took up. All those who checked. in to Campper were not led into bricks and mortar set-ups. Their holiday homes were safe and strong tents in the outdoors, where they could spend a weekend in absolute safety with the accompanying facilities of parking lots and toilets. No backwoods deal, this! Home-made food and wi-fi too, on a platter inside the tents.

Campper was started by Prabil MJ, a techie who was working in Chennai at the time, with Sooraj Rajan, another techie who was working in the banking sector in Singapore then, who soon joined Prabil after shifting back to Kerala.

So when Prabil originally started, the idea was to offer a way to book activities. But we soon realized that the market size of the segment and the average ticket size available would be too small to sustain ourselves. This is when we pivoted our concept and decided to focus on camping, as the potential for the segment was much higher.

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What the Future Holds

Campper has had over 140+ curated camping experiences so far. On average, the company have between 150-250 customers monthly depending on the season, and almost 40% of the customers are families, which goes to show that standardization can make camping an attractive offering to even traditional travellers. This startup is currently bootstrapped, with a valuation of Rs 15 crores(according to 2018). Campper plans to expand its team, with a focus on targeting more corporates.